Friday, March 3, 2017

To Make Meaning

And That's a Wrap🌎

10 full days of extraordinary nursing experience in a different country.  I think I can say on behalf of all of us just how amazing this culture was. From learning about different tips and tricks to teaching them some of our own methods, we have taken in so much from this experience.  Not only have we had lots of laughs and stories that we will never forget, but we are now able to bridge this gained knowledge towards our own futures as registered nurses.πŸ’ŠπŸ’‰

I think a lot of us were thinking that Ecuador's healthcare system was going to be completely substandard in comparison to Canada's. But it was only when we actually got to enter these hospitals and clinics when we realized that they are doing a lot of things to a higher standard.  For example, their rates of infection are extremely scarce when compared to ours. We thought this was interesting seeing as some of things we do to prevent infection, they do not do.  In Ecuador, they keep their windows open in patient rooms and they leave doors open when performing surgeries. These things are pretty much unheard of here in Nova Scotia, but it clearly seems to work in Ecuador.  They of course have their own rules with regards to infection control that we do not have here in Canada. For example, at Neuva Aurora (The maternity hospital), they do not allow any children under the age of 12 to visit, fathers can only visit twice daily for 10 minutes at a time, and mothers have periods of visits that can only last 2 hours long. We found this fascinating as we are extremely focused on family centered care here in Canada.πŸ‘ͺ

Two out of the three different hospitals we visited were private and not public. Therefore we were exposed for the most part to the small population of Ecuador that could actually pay for their healthcare needs. We found that because supplies are limited, they really make use of what they have. For example one thing we really seemed to notice was their use of gloves✋. Not only would they use them as gloves, but they would also be used for other tasks.  A few of us saw them being used as tourniquets for IV insertion (simply using two fingers from the gloves and tying them around ones arm for constricting venous circulation), and also being used for offloading pressure under one's heels (blowing up a glove and placing them under the heels of feet while in bed).  It's so neat to see how they make use of what resources they have, as there is not nearly as much waste as we have here in Canada.♻

One last thing we wanted to make sure everyone knew about was the friendliness of the Ecuadorean people😊.  Everyone we came across were so helpful and keen on giving us an outstanding experience. It is amazing to see how little these people have, but how they can all still have such a positive look on life.  We are all so lucky and should be extremely grateful for what resources we have here in Canada, but just because we have all of these resources, it does not mean we couldn't learn a great deal from this country.πŸ‘

A huge thank you is necessary for everyone who has helped us in some shape or form to make this once in a lifetime trip occur.  The donations we received were numerous and so beneficial for everyone who received them.  We couldn't have gone on this trip without the support of our community. Thank you so much for letting us little Capers have an international nursing experience that we will bring with us for the rest of our careers.πŸ“šπŸ‘•πŸ’ŠπŸ“¦

We will now be forever changed because of this experience. It was a great way to end our degrees/kick off the beginnings of our careers as registered nurses. We hope that the nursing students from CBU will continue to travel to different countries all around the world to gain the amazing nursing experiences just like we did πŸ—»πŸ’ŠπŸ‘£