So in October 2014 I packed my bags, Everest Base camp was my first destination. After spending a gruelling three weeks trekking in the Himalayan region, one foot after the other, a constant struggle to catch my breath and suffering from the khumbu cough, I arrived safety back in Kathmandu having achieved my first goal in Nepal. Next on my list, empowering some nurses with education through the NTR program!
Education in nursing is one of the most powerful tools, it allows nurses the ability to critically analyse situation, improves their decision making and enhance multidisciplinary team work. It can have a major impact on a patient’s morbidity and mortality. In ICU it is the nurse that is by the patient’s bedside 24 hours a day, it is crucial that the nurse not only shows compassion when caring for their patient, but is also able to assess a patient’s condition, identify and react to early signs of deterioration.
We used a combined approach to provide education to the nurses. First we held a number of class room sessions, focussing on theory, having discussions with the nurses and getting some hands on time through skills stations. We also distributed clinical logbooks to allow the nurses to approach learning at their own pace. After the formal classroom teaching was over we spent time on the unit with the nurses, observing and demonstrating skills and assessing the nurses using competency based assessments (a new concept for many Nepali nurses).
Overall the NTR experience was an extremely rewarding one. However you sometimes question, Did I do enough? Should I have done something differently? Could I have done more? However with all education you take the wins where you get them and I found I constantly needed to remind myself you can never turn mole hills into mountains in such a short amount of time.
To sum up I just want to say a massive thank you to the staff at Grande International Hospital, they were all so warm and welcoming. It cannot be easy to let a group of foreigners into your workplace, however not once did we feel unwelcome. A special thanks to the ICU and High Care nurses, the compassion they showed their patients, the support they showed each other, their commitment and dedication to nursing and learning is amazing and I am very grateful for having the opportunity to spend time with them.
I hope to return to Nepal soon