Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Ghandi

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Want to save the world?

A recent and fabulous opportunity was emailed to us from Global Health Service Corps. Just reading the first line of the opening paragraph made me wish I was a brand new nurse who had dreams of saving the world. What an opportunity for anyone!  But especially those who may not have commitments or obligations at home.

They are looking for nurses and physicians to volunteer in a new program partnership with the Peace Corps and Global Health Service Corps (GHSP). The GHSP Peace Corps Volunteers will serve one year assignments as faculty members of medical and nursing schools. The program will launch in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda in July 2013.

Here are a little more details about the program:

The volunteers serving through the program will be Peace Corps Response Volunteers receiving a monthly living stipend, transportation to and from their country of service, comprehensive medical care, vacation days, and readjustment allowance. The Global Health Service Corps will dedicate funds to help finance loan repayment stipends up to 30K for eligible volunteers. WOWZERS. =D

Participants in the program will be Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV) in the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP). Volunteers will work in priority medical and nursing education systems in partner countries. In coordination with host country faculty, GHSP PCV will primarily function as academic medical or nursing educators. They will also participate in direct medical care as appropriate to effective education and mentorship.

The Peace Corps and the Global Health Service Corps will work in close collaboration with the Ministries of Health, Ministries of Education and identified educational/health institutions to increase capacity and strengthen the quality and sustainability of medical, nursing, and midwifery education and clinical practice.

If you are interested please read more about the program here Global Health Service Corps
If you are wanting to apply (lucky you) go here Application GHSP
If you would like to know more about the job go here: Job Description

Application info: Applications will be due December 1st, 2012, and the first cohort will be named February 2013 for a July 2013 deployment.
Please email any questions or for assistance with the application process to

Specific qualifications for physician applicants:
  • Training in one of seven core disciplines: Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Medicine/Pediatrics, General Surgery, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Psychiatry or Family Medicine
  • Board eligibility or board certification in one of the above specialties
  • Active license in the United States*
  • Experience providing culturally sensitive and competent high quality care      
Specific qualifications for nursing applicants:
  • BSN with an MPH, or an MSN, APRN, DNP, PhD and/or a CNS
  • Minimum of 3 years experience in a clinical specialty
  • Active license in the United States*
  • Experience providing culturally sensitive and competent high quality care
  • Experience in a faculty position at a nursing educational institution that involved mentoring/precepting students in a classroom/clinical setting
  • Potential specialty areas include: general adult care, critical care, trauma, infectious and NCD, chronic care management, pediatrics, mental health, public/community health, midwifery, pre-natal care, family planning, emergency obstetrical care and PMTC HIV, palliative care, and nursing leadership and management
All applicants must demonstrate personal maturity and patience to work under challenging clinical circumstances. In addition, volunteers must be flexible and ready to adapt to local conditions and situations. The Peace Corps requires that all volunteers are US citizens.

*Note: Applicants will be required to meet licensing criteria and obtain appropriate clinical licenses in the host country.

We would love to know if any of you daring and adventurous nurses apply for these positions and end up part of the program faculty. Please keep us in mind and if possible send us an email!  Excited and praying for all of you who take the step!



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Kids...and more

Babies, toddlers, kids, and teenagers, make me cry, tired, sleepy, anxious, and wish to the high heavens that I had their energy. This week I was struck by a news story that sent me over the edge about three teenage boys hiking/climbing in the Cascades. 
I was traveling to work early Monday morning when I overheard NPR tell a story about these three teenage kids that were hiking/climbing in the Cascades and how two of the three boys fell off a steep cliff to their deaths. The third boy ran 5 miles down the trail to find help. 

This image was really vivid in my mind and I found myself immediately crying! Big giant crocodile tears were streaming down my face. After about 30 seconds and mascara all over the place, I thought: "jeesh girl, you better get it together you have a lecture in an hour and you don't need to look like a mess!" 

Somehow I pulled it together, continued to drive to work and proceed with my lecture. At the lunch break, I was speaking to my good friend about my early morning experience and surprisingly she shared with me her nightmares she has had about her little darling grandchild. Tears welled up her eyes as though the dreams were truths. 

For the rest of the week I pondered over these experiences, my experience and listening to my friend as she let her worries and fears escape out of her mouth and onto my ears. 

So, what on God's green earth did I decide to tell you these stories? Well, here's the reason. Have any of you ever watched the documentary that came out last year called Babies?  Here's the website and trailer: Babies Its an amazing film that follows four babies in different parts of the world. Its funny, scary and sad. But the real point to it all, I think is that in one way or another we all survive, whether our destiny is to live until we are 18 or 89. How we get there is our own journey, and it can be weird, good, and bad. 

Well, how does this tie into One Nurse At A Time? It sort of does and sort of doesn't. How it tied in for me is by recognizing that my own children and worries are very small and that someone somewhere else in this world has worries that far supersede my anxieties. 

What I can tell you is that if you feel passionate about children, helping, fixing, teaching and giving the best that you possibly can, then I would suggest you give it a try and do it outside of your cozy little home. Maybe, just maybe I am talking really to myself and telling myself to go out and care for some of these children that desperately need my help. 

Whatever this strange message is, I hope somehow it helps you in finding what your happiness, anxieties and wonders were this week. Heck, the week isn't even over yet!

Just for fun, I searched for pediatric needs on the website. Up popped Double H Ranch looks like maybe this is where I might try and spend a week this next summer. What about you?

--- ONAAT Crew

Saturday, September 15, 2012

News from ONAAT

Couple of things have happened over the last week. One great, and one kind of a bummer.

Let's get the bad news out of the way first...our Jo's Mission is cancelled for this November. It is cancelled because we did not have enough nurses to make sense for us to pursue this mission. If I remember correctly, I think we had 2 nurses sign up and we would have considered it IF we had a total of 4 or 5 nurses sign up...
However, this isn't all together bad news. We are not going to just write it off the list and forget about it...Sue is going to contact her network and see if this spring we can try and get another mission going for our first time nurses. I am hopeful.
One of the bigger stumbling blocks, we discovered with the requirements for an applicant was the Spanish speaking requirement. A lot of my ED nurses said "Hey! I was going to sign up for that, but I DEFINITELY do not speak Spanish." So with that thought in mind, I think we will look at the spring for a trip and possibly without the requirement that you must speak Spanish. Please stay tuned!
Ok- one to the great news. Sue with her endless abilities to work 24/7 has signed up ONE NURSE AT A TIME with CharityChoice Gift Card. Yeah! An answer to our never-ending questions to raising money for our organization.
The CharityChoice Gift Card is a program that enables ONAAT to be offered as an option for gift-recipients to select when redeeming their CharityChoice Gift Card. Our hope is that the more people we tell about our little organization the more we have to give to our nurses helping communities across the world!

Here is a link to the Charity Choice Gift Card: CharityChoice Gift Card

Monday, September 10, 2012

Back to School

Doesn't the start of fall and going back to school  just make you feel like everything is back in order again? What is it? The month of August just seems like a month in which not much is accomplished, there is a lot of concentration on BBQ's, camping, hiking, swimming, and definitely not work. But here it is again- back to school and I am gearing up my kids to be involved in all sorts of activities and events. 

With the thoughts of activities and events in mind, I have been thinking lately about taking my son with me on a mission trip. At this time, I truly think my son is a little too young, but I think it is important to see the world through experiences and helping others. When he does come along with me, I hope he also sees the value. 

We have volunteered at our church for various things, but it usually ends up with him running around having a lot of fun...he's three, what can I truly expect? If not an actual trip, then we will continue to volunteer locally in our community - I think every little bit of exposure helps keep his eyes and heart open. 

But this blog isn't about my son- its about our organization and how we can help you find great humanitarian pursuits! 

This week we are highlighting the AmeriCares Free Clinics. The AmeriCares Free Clinics rely on volunteers to provide free, high- quality health care to the uninsured, low-income residents of the communities we serve.

It is due to their selfless volunteer doctors, nurses, screeners, interpreters and administrative assistants that they are able to make a difference in the lives of so many.

AmeriCares Free Clinics provide quality health care to uninsured residents of Connecticut in a setting where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect. The intention of the AmeriCares Free Clinics is to help those who are making a sincere effort to help themselves and their families, but do not have the financial resources for medical care

The AmeriCares Free Clinics rely on volunteers to provide free, high- quality health care to the uninsured, low-income residents of the communities we serve.

Check them out!  AmeriCares Free Clinic

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Christian Medical Mission

Today we would like to share with you another wonderful organization that is in our directory. Christian Medical Missions, Inc. (CMMI) is a 501-c-3 organization established in 1990 to provide medical, dental and eye care to the indigenous people of Central America. Every year is an adventure that involves new people in our efforts to reach out to those in need of medical and dental attention.

The first nineteen years have been busy ones. They have made 55 trips and have helped about 50,000 people in Panama, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras. They have saved some and stabilized others, relieved pain and anxiety and improved nutrition and vision, educated and been educated, and have given services to people who could never afford them. Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim...they have gone out together under the umbrella of a Christian Medical Mission to give of themselves, and in the process they have received gifts beyond imaginable, from fellow teammates, to those they serve and serve them, and ultimately from God, our Father.

In 1990, CMMI sent it's first mission team to a small hamlet on the Pan-American Highway (a gravel road only passable with off road vehicles in the wet season) known as Waucuco. The area is home to missionary priest Fr. Wally Kasuboski, a Wisconsin native working in Central America for the last 40 years. The people of the area include homesteading Panamanians looking for new opportunities on the Panamanian frontier and indigenous tribes of Kuna, Embera-Chocoe and Wounaan Indians. 

Since that time, CMMI has expanded it's medical services to Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras. 

(As written from Christian Medical Mission website)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Multitude of Emotions- Honduras

Scholarship Recipient - Emily

I returned home from my trip to Honduras after just a week away filled with emotions. However, if I had to just choose one word to sum up the entire week I would say it was lovely. It is an experience that I will never forget and I hope that I have the opportunity to do over again. I met many wonderful Honduran and American people on my trip, I visited a beautiful village high in the mountains, learned about a new culture, experienced new foods, and enjoyed my time there immensely. Reflecting upon my experience, I can say that I felt a multitude of emotions that included, happiness, joy, peace, frustration, and exhaustion that all rolled into one amazing week.

I travelled to Monte Verde, Intibuca, Honduras with an amazing organization called MEDICO, Inc.  They provide medical, dental, and eye care to well deserving and needing communities of Honduras and Nicaragua.  Our trip was from April 14-21012 with a team composing of 23 people - There were 4 physicians (2 American and 2 Honduran), 4 nurses, 3 dentists, 2 dental hygienists, 5 volunteers/interpreters, and one Honduran pharmacist.  This was an easy team to get to know and work with, as they were all people who were there for one main reason – to help others. The best part was that all of their egos were checked – back in the U.S, despite the language and cultural differences, we all got along extremely well.  In addition to those volunteering with MEDICO, we also worked with the School Sisters of Notre Dame who provided us with food and housing during our visit.

Our clinic was set up in a building the Sisters owned, that included: a kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms/showers, big open area to see patients, and a room we transformed into a pharmacy.  797 patients were seen for medical services and 255 for dental services.  We served people in wide age group- from infants to geriatrics.  Close to 2500 medicines were distributed free of charge for a wide variety of reasons. Our first day was delayed due to severe travel delays. The roads were impassable and we arrived very late in the day which forced us to start seeing patient’s Monday morning. Our day would typically start at 8am and would end around 5pm, with time in between for lunch.  We saw patients until Thursday morning when we packed up and left the mountains to make our way back to San Pedro Sula.

My job was to dispense medications in the pharmacy the physicians had prescribed, give instructions and ensure that medications were taken properly. Luckily, I worked with a Honduran pharmacist, who was a wealth of information and two Honduran teenagers who were my interpreters. Often, I was able to help out and provide medical care by assisting with pap smears, IM injections and working in the triage area. During the week, a dentist, hygienist and physician drove out to a remote area to care for patients whose walk discouraged them from seeking medical care.

I once a heard a quote that says 'there are more differences between the sexes than there are between cultures' – I am unsure of who the author is, but I have found this true many times over, including in Honduras.  The people I met are similar Americans - they are hard-working and are doing the best they can with what they have.  In the village there was a main square and the surrounding area had a beautiful church, school buildings, a soccer field, vendors on the street selling food and clothing, a mill, a small general store, and many homes.  It appeared to be a very small, quaint town with absolutely amazing views.

I enjoyed everything!  I don't think I could pick what I enjoyed the most.  Even dealing with horrible roads, which took several more hours to drive on, was enjoyable because it's all a part of the overall experience, which I loved.  One of the highlights was working with the Honduran doctors.  They were lovely people and to experience their care and compassion for their people was inspiring.  It was quite evident they love what they do.  One pediatrician, Dr Paredes is recognized on an international level for the work he has done for children in need.  He is an excellent a role model not just for other physicians, but for everyone who should be doing more for their own country/people.  

I guess if I had to pick just one moment that was my favorite I guess it would have to be the impact this trip had on Andrea, our 14 year old interpreter.  Andrea has gone on other medical mission trips with MEDICO.  This time she met a little boy named Batilio, who was often around the clinic before and after school.  He was about 5 years old and didn't own a pair of shoes.  Andrea spent a lot of her time with him during our down times in the morning and evenings.  On our second to last day she bought him a pair of shoes with her own money.  When our group had its last dinner together in San Pedro Sula, Andrea mentioned how much Batilio changed her life.  I'm not sure of all the things they talked about, but to see this experience had a huge impact on this young girls life is unforgettable.  At such a young age, she could have spent this week of her life at the beach, with her friends, doing things most 14 year olds would be doing, instead she choose to spend her time working on her feet 8-9 hours a day and helping us and her own country.  To see her have this experience with the little boy is something I'm truly blessed to have been a part of.

One Nurse At A Time not only provided financial support which was greatly needed but I knew that they would be there if I ever needed anything.  If I just needed to talk to someone about my experience they would be there for me.  I think this mission trip, and others I have gone on, having greatly impacted my medical career.  For one, it has opened my eyes in seeing that working in a large teaching hospital will all the newest equipment is not the only way to provide excellent nursing care.  The setting in which you work is irrelevant.  Its how you treat the person you are taking care of that determines if you are providing excellent nursing care.  
I guess I've always known that I'm a simple person.  It doesn't take much to make me happy.  I don't need a lot of money, or a fancy car, or all the up-to-date technology, or even hot showers.  Life is about being kind, warm, compassionate, giving, and caring.  Going on trips like this one to Honduras, allows me to forget about my phone and emails and to focus on helping those in need.  I hope I was able to give as much as I received.

Emily returned home from Monte Verde, Honduras in April, 2012. She traveled with the medical team MEDICO from April 14th-21st, 2012.