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

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Excellent article- "Medical Missions - Nursing for a Cause"

Last month Sue was featured on the web based site "Health Callings, Jobs that Matter". Linda Childers wrote up a quick little article about Sue's first start into the medical mission world and why she and Stacie started One Nurse At A Time. 

Some of the best lines out of the interview are from Sue's version of how volunteering adds to your on:

“Serving on a medical mission will make you a more well-rounded nurse,” Averill says. “You care for many patients who have never received formal medical care and may have walked for days to receive treatment. They are all so grateful for the services provided to them."

“Serving on a medical mission offers nurses a life-changing and career-changing experience,” Averill says. “You’re working in an environment where you have to problem solve and think quickly on your feet.”

Today Sue is off in Guatemala with our first Jo's Nurses Mission. These nurses are taking full advantage of Sue's medical knowledge as a 20+ year nurse and as an experienced volunteer nurse. When they return, we hope to share their experiences with you. 

Best lines from the article by far:

Once nurses serve on a medical mission, Averill says they are typically hooked.

“I think we often forget how much teaching we do in our daily nursing jobs and how much we truly have to share with others,” she says. “On a medical mission, you are able to share your talents and skills with patients in need as well as with colleagues from all over the world. You not only change the lives of many patients and their families; you will be changed as well.”
If you would like to read the full article- please click HERE
As always, thanks!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Art of Nursing and the Science of Medicine - Sue Averill

From Sue-
Last month I traveled with other nurses and doctors to Port Au Prince, Haiti with Project Medishare, working at Bernard Mevs, the only neuro-surgical and trauma facility in the region.  Project Medishare’s goal is to train Haitian doctors and nurses and to establish sustainable programs so the facility can function independently beyond the departure of expats.

Among my role as ER and Triage nurse, I was anointed “The Hysteric Whisperer." Many teenage girls and young women came to the hospital via ambulance or private vehicle presenting in catatonic states, hyperventilating or as “post-ictal seizure” patients.  We soon learned, these were anxiety/panic attacks. One teenage girl was brought, ambulance lights blazing and sirens blaring for "seizures" – but made eye contact and was purposefully moving around in the gurney - not in a post-ictal state. The doctor approached the patient and shouted, "Prepare to intubate!"

Three minutes later, I held the girl’s hands and helped her off the gurney and onto a chair.  Intubation was certainly not necessary. With an astounded look on his face, the doctor asked “How did you do that?  That was magic!”  I replied, “Want to know the magic? I put my face down close to hers, spoke very slowly, softly and quietly into her ear, and told her  'It's OK' over and over and over.  I pet her cheek, made eye contact and suddenly big crocodile tears began to slide out."

The Haitian population has several factors working against them:  the traumatic events of the 2010 earthquake - the country is still piecing itself together.  The fact that Haiti is an impoverished developing country with limited resources.  Add to that frequent sexual violence against women, family issues, loss of not only loved ones but schools and homes and churches, plus the surging hormones of teenagers, it's no wonder these young female patients frequently present with anxiety and hysteria.

A nurse’s approach is humanistic. It's thoughtful.  It involves comfort, care, touch, words and warmth. It's holistic. Nursing approaches patient care - whether in a hospital, a clinic, or a tent in Africa – from another direction than medical doctors.  Our professions are intertwined yet quite different.

It's the art of nursing versus the science of medicine.

- Sue Averill, RN

Friday, February 8, 2013

Barco's Nightingale Scholarship Winner Jo Birdsong

Barco's Nightingale's scholarship winner Jo Birdsong is a registered nurse from the west coast. She was a lucky winner of our Nightingale's scholarship and is leaving to Haiti on a mission trip with the organization Project Helping Hands.

Jo has been in nursing for 30 + years and has enjoyed every bit of it and when she's not working, she has two sons and three grandchild who keep her busy! Jo is employed by Providence Little Company of Mary of Torrance, CA. There is spent 9 years working in their emergency department and was recently promoted to a Pre-Hospital Care Coordinator (if you are curious, a Pre-Hospital Care Coordinator is involved in all radio transmissions from the hospital to the paramedics out on the 9-1-1 calls. It's basically a liaison between paramedics, EMT's, fire departments, ER Radio Nurses and LA County EMS Agency).  Jo loves her job and her work!

Jo is not a new face to humanitarian mission trips. She has some experience under her belt and has participated in a total of 4 trips, all of which were to Haiti. The organization Jo is going with sends teams of volunteers to provide medical care and health education for people in all developing nations. The teams participate in treating and educating people in cities and towns, focusing on educating the local health care providers. This way their goal of seeing the health care providers become self sufficient is a reality.

If you are wondering how you can volunteer with Project Helping Hands please click here. There is a ton of info on their website and even some fascinating videos!

Jo Birdsong will be in Haiti February 3rd 2013 with Project Helping hands. Her mission was made possible by the scholarship she received from One Nurse At A Time and the generous support of Barco's Nightingales Foundation.

More will posted on her return!



Monday, February 4, 2013

Barco's Nightingale Scholarship - Josephine Sullivan

Our second Barco's Nightingale's Foundation scholarship winner has left for her mission trip to Ecuador February 1st. Josephine is an Operating Room (OR) Registered Nurse (RN) in Louisville Kentucky, where she has worked as an OR for the last 32 years. She has had the privilege of helping patients of all ages - children and adults in the operating room. 

Josephine started her love of travel and specifically the country Ecuador when she was 7 years old. Her family hosted an exchange student from the town of Quito, and from that moment on Josephine made a promise to herself that she would "Some day go to Ecuador". 

After forty or so years, Josephine finally held true to her promise and accompanied two Healing the Children (HTC) surgical teams to Ecuador in 2012. The two cities they traveled were Portoviejo and Bahia de Caraquez. In Portoviejo, the team accomplished 87 surgical procedures in two operating rooms in just four days. In Bahia de Caraquez, the team performed 70 surgical operations in four and a half days. With both of these trips, Josephine was hooked and she returned a better OR nurse because of her experiences and travels with these missions.

Healing the Children is a national organization that has provided medical care to children in need for over thirty years. There are 13 HTC chapters nationwide as well as many International Partners that are committed to helping children worldwide.     

February 1, 2013 Josephine left for Ecuador with Healing the Children thanks to the generous financial support from One Nurse At A Time and Barco's Nightingales Foundation

Have a great trip Josephine! We are looking forward to hearing about your trip when you return!