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 2015?
In 2013 I did seventeen sessions of a 3-day course that reached 534 people. In 2014 I led 24 of these, reaching 608 nurses and docs. Yes, in 2014 I began reaching out to the MBBS docs about getting this. I think it was well received and there is now more awareness of the need for it among all members of the team. The 2-day version is 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. I continued to go outside the KTM valley. for 2015 I certainly will do so…. 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 2015 will be?
Working with the people I trained in 2011, 2013 and 2014 to build local capacity. I’ve collaborated with The center for Medical Simulation, a Kathmandu-based group that will be an official “International Training Center” via the American Heart Association. 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. Specifically, if you are an ACLS-I, PALS-I or BLS IT, we can use you to help CMS get their Training center fully operational. You woudl need to apply and align – the usual AHA procedure. Come teach with CMS! it’s a way to combine service with your trip to Nepal.
Also, 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. And As I wrote above, if you are an ACLS-I or a Regional Faculty, we want to hear from you!
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!