What is different about CCNEPal?
This project gets involved in acute care nursing standards in Nepal. the work stays in the bigger cities of Nepal. That’s where the people live and that’s where the hospitals are.
What we don’t do: Let me say right off the bat that we don’t mix our activities with trekking. We don’t teach wilderness medicine, we don’t offer care at Everest Base Camp. If that is what you want, keep looking for some other NGO or a tour group. Some other volunteer experiences you could join are ones in which the nursing activities focus on such things as distributing toothbrushes or visiting orphanages to play with the children. That is not us.
I am in favor of oral hygiene (I practice it myself on a regular basis) and I certainly think that children should be fed, clothed and taught. But a lay person can hand out toothbrushes, and they make toothbrushes in India that are cheaper to get than bringing all the way from USA.
What we do: teach critical care nursing. ACLS-type training courses, and a few other related topics. I am an acute care nurse, and if you are also one, you may wish to go a bit deeper……. why not think of ways to see how the nurses actually work? and to share what you know about nursing?
What are the plans for 2014?
In 2013 I did seventeen sessions of a 3-day course that reached 534 people. So far in summer 2014 I am scheduling these, but I am also doing a 2-day version tailored to the needs of MBBS docs new in their careers.
Expanding outside the Kathmandu Valley is part of what we do. In 2013 the three-week road trip was grueling but fun and I have already started 2014 with three Road Trips. I wish to reach as many nurses and doctors outside the Kathmandu Valley as I possibly can. It’s easier to make a circuit trip than to make a series of out-and-back excursions, no matter how hot it gets….
The focus in 2014 will be?
Working with the people I trained in 2011 and 2013 to build local capacity. The best description of the 2011 project is to be found in a 24-minute YouTube video. Please watch that to learn more.
Will you take others in 2014-2015?
Yes. I think it’s important for American nurses to learn to do this kind of project. In 2013 I got to the point of trusting Nepali nurses to be my assistants, running the mega-code stations. The courses went ever so much better when major parts were handed over to Nepali-speaking nurses who knew what the goals and objectives were and who could lead the groups. But, there is still room for more foreign nurses to help. Many of the host sites asked for nurses who would spend time at the bedside with the staff on the units. We can maximise the hands-on aspect of critical care nurse training.
How will these persons be selected?
On a practical basis, this project costs money, and people need to be able to self-fund such a trip – probably $3,000 US Dollars including airfare.
Obviously, some kind of background in critical care is needed, but I would be willing to take undergraduate students if they are quick learners.
Beyond that, there will be some sort of application and screening process.
What would be the criteria?
Don’t think of doing this unless you have a major block of time. Just – don’t. If you only have two weeks, you need to know that it takes two or three days travel on each end of the trip from USA. Take fourteen days and subtract six, that leaves eight in which to actually do anything. Also, my teaching approach is adapted to Nepali culture in some specific ways, and you can’t simply present material the way you might have expected to do in USA. This takes time to learn. I’m a big believer in being culturally aware.
In 2013 I did seventeen three-day sessions of the course, along with some one-day training events on various topics. To meet my goal, I did a couple of nine-days-in-a-row stretches of training. My days off were devoted to administrative work, travel, or chilling out. So far in 2014 I took three road trips, one was fourteen days in the Terai in July. If you wish to mix in some sightseeing etc you need to block out a major time commitment. I think this is ideal for a nursing faculty person who has the summer off (like me). the summer clock is ticking though!
As to actual personal skills? First and foremost, a being a flexible team player. Having a sense of humor. Willing to devote time to learn in advance about culture etc.
Dealing with stress, and healthy coping are important, but I am not sure how to predict those things. We will build in some time to relax, but this is not a party trip.
Alcohol, and it’s use, are an important factor. Team members will be screened carefully regarding this. Putting yourself out of commission via substance abuse is not a way to help the team. If your idea of relaxation involves mainly partying and drinking, you can stay home and do that.
Things like dressing conservatively and respecting the Nepali culture, are very important, and have been a key to my own effectiveness in the past.
I dunno – ask a question here and I will answer it!