No Matter the Location, No matter the Setting, #NursesRock

Growing up, I always wanted to be a doctor or a nurse. It looked fascinating.  I was so in love with the white coats, the stethoscope and the demeanour of these two professions. Needles were however not my thing. I remember I once witness my sister; a passionate nurse dressing a wound and that was the end of my dream in the medical field.  I am scared to hell about needles and I think I would become more sicker than the patient if they were to present a case before me. How do you do it? You guys are always so composed, caring and patient.

I may not have made it to live my childhood dream of becoming a nurse but with Elective Africa, a placement organizer for pre-nursing internships and nursing electives, am happy and proud to be working with future and current nurses who are passionate about their work and the patients they serve.  Regardless of location in the world, nurses have been known to go beyond their way to serve the people promoting and improving healthcare for all. Dr. Nelly Bosire, an Obstetrics & Gynaecology Specialist once shared in one of the local dailies in Kenya about this nurse who had to cycle 7km and take a Matatu for the remaining 7 km to the nearest District Hospital on Mondays at 5am, to collect vaccines for the week.  Every Monday, this is his routine all with an aim of ensuring babies never suffered polio or measles.

If you ask me, that is nowhere close to motivation from the salary or the allowance he is given, but it was out of passion.  What happens when there are limited medical equipment to stop child-birth related death among women? A nurse gotta do what a nurse gotta do. Just the other day, nurses and midwives in Kenya discovered the use of uterine balloon tamponade made of two condoms, two cotton strings, one Foley catheter and a 60ml syringe to save mothers suffering from postpartum haemorrhage (PPH). Does it work? When used properly by trained health workers, it saves 97 percent of the women who use it.

You’ve got a lot to be proud of, for instance, it’s only a nurse who is strong enough to tolerate anything and soft enough to understand anyone. You smile, use kind words, give a listening ear and turn peoples lives around.

Being in a journey, to one of the most important cadres in healthcare that accounts for nearly 50% of the health workforce, you need to prepare adequately for a lifetime of commitment to protecting, promoting and improving healthcare for all. As a student nurse or a nursing practitioner, travelling and working in a different hospital cultural setting in Africa gives you a great opportunity to work, learn and shadow nurses who in most cases work under difficult conditions with understaffing and limited medical equipment. You get to immerse yourself in a new culture, volunteer your skills with the less fortunate as well as have adventures by visiting various breathtaking sceneries.

We agree that not all angels have wings…some have scrubs and we wouldn’t mind to make their journey interesting and transforming just as we did to Kyle’s

‘Since I was a child I dreamt of coming to Africa, a soulful desire. Now, with Elective Africa, I am in Kenya. The people are truly lovely. I am well cared for in my Diggs here with a cook, a driver to take me to and from the hospital, and someone here to help me with EVERYTHING else.

The government hospital is definitely for the poor. The last 3+ days I have been in Labor and Delivery where life is not taken for granted. Both clean and sterile gloves can be hard to find, no soap, no hot water… supplies, in general, can be scarce.

Today while holding a woman’s leg and letting her squeeze my fingers with the pain of delivery, the ocean breeze gently blew through the window. In between contractions, I watched monkeys play outside. Happy to say the baby and mom are fine.

I LOVE BEING A NURSE!!

I am still working in the ER. It is amazing. The doctors are fun and easy to talk with. The nurses are kind. Today I was starting an I.V. (Branula) on this young man with a broken ankle. I would get it just under the skin and he would pull away. The doctor was helping hold his arm. I talked to the pt. about relaxing. Finally, he did and it went right in. The doctor said she never heard someone talk to a pt. or like that. She was amused. We are learning from each other

Saying goodbye to Kenya

My time here is almost over. Way too short!! Sunday I took the day to go up the coast to snorkel. The swimming was wonderful but the dressy seafood was the BEST! So nice to get out of the city.

Kenya, the people are proud, their hearts are open, and everyone gets along. Sadly my time is ending. The experience through Elective Africa was intense and fulfilling. The last 4 days I spent on Safari. 3 days in Masai Mara and 1 day in Nakuru. Holy MAGICAL! The photos are a small glimpse of this experience. I am so grateful the Kenyans have reserved so much land! And the Masai living near the park area huge part of this effort. They guarded our camp. And we spent a few hours with them. They don’t like people to take their photos. However, we were invited in and they happily agreed. But no photos outside of this.

Really, the best way to travel for me is to volunteer. Through this experience, I had authentic interactions with the locals. Everyone was kind, open and easy to talk to. Phares was so helpful, so was Justina who was also very responsive. A peaceful, intelligent, industrious, authentic people, the Kenyans. My heart is forever fuller!! Thank you so much, Elective Africa. The staffs at E.A were nothing short of wonderful.

Happy International Nurses Day!

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