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What? Me a Nursing Instructor?

October 6, 2011

At times I have great difficulty adjusting my thinking to the realities of Haiti.  Yesterday I received a phone call from a young Haitian doctor who runs an AIDS clinic here in Saint-Marc, and is now starting a nursing school.  He expects to have 200 students enrolled by tomorrow.  I had been referred to him by Judy Douglas, a nurse from Vernon whom I met here a while ago.  He wanted to talk to me about being an instructor when his school opens in three weeks.

My first response was disbelief.  Yes, I did very well during my training, and graduated with distinction, but it’s been a few years since I have had any clinical experience.  I simply didn’t see myself in a teaching role.  But after thinking about it a bit, and talking to Judy, the nurse who recommended me, the reality of Haiti started to sink in.  No, I certainly am not the most qualified person for the job by a long shot.  But I just may be the most qualified person available.  We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

After spending today helping Judy to organize the pharmacy in the Pierre Payen Hospital, I met with Dr. Felix and his wife.  He gave me a tour of the school and introduced me to some of the staff that were there.  He has no equipment yet, but has asked me to make a list of things I thought we will need.  He seems confident I can do what is needed and we have come to an arrangement.  I will assist with instruction five afternoons each week.  I will continue at El Shaddai school in the mornings, and if the combination proves to be too onerous I will make adjustments.

On Saturday I will be back in Pierre Payen helping Judy get ready for the surgical teams.  She commented this afternoon how nice it was to have me work with her even though we were both very busy and didn’t get a chance to talk a lot.  I find it very comfortable working with her.  I will try to find some flexibility in my schedule at the school to offer assistance when the teams arrive.  A bit of hands on nursing would be of great benefit as I start to teach at the nursing school.

I enjoyed a bit of Haitian medical care myself today as the burn on my leg needed dressing.  I couldn’t have asked for more.  When the staff at Canaan were making up my chart I asked where to purchase some medication I was running low on, and before I left I was given what I needed, along with supplies to change the dressing a couple of times and antibiotics.  A side benefit was an interesting visit with the doctor who is from Georgia.

Another week; more changes.  If I  wasn’t sure God was in this, I’d be more than a bit concerned.

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