Celebrating Nightingale 2020 BicentenaryFlorence Nightingale 200 years
Nurses Are Not Widgets!
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If ever there was a time to challenge protocols and practices with the employer it is now. ONA has been successful in April of this year with the supreme court challenge on what defines appropriate PPE and infection control standards.
It is a point of care risk assessment that determines which PPE is required not management. Work with your H&S committee and speak up.
Have your voice heard!
A Difficult Situation
How does a professional nurse work as an intermediary between management and frontline unionized workers to promote change?
I am an RN Manager in LTC, initially casual RN (ONA rep) upon hire I got a part time position, then a full time position as nurse manager in the evenings. I left my unionized position and was informed by my management that they will be there to support me with this transition. Any change is difficult but I really struggled and was met with such resistance. Frontline workers did resist but with time and patience they slowly responded and engaged with me. I found in the process I had to change myself and ease off a bit. I took courses in leadership. My disappointment was and is with management, who lacked compassion and communication skills to assist. One director of nursing told me if this is the right job for me.
I wait till my days in the nursing home are over and I retire in 6 months – such a low feeling but can say that I made a dent with the workers and that will always be special to me.
Regards Sobhana RN in LTC
Nursing: The Backbone of Healthcare in Congo by Ann Hagenson RN and group-Paul Partnership
Nurses are the backbone of healthcare in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They are passionate, dedicated, and sacrifice much to serve their communities. The nurses of the northwest region of DRC formed a Christian Nurses Association in 2014 with the fortitude, determination, and service of their community in mind just as Florence Nightingale did in her war-torn years. They meet quarterly to discuss nursing issues, successes, support one another, and decide on where their small amount of dues and donation money may go. Usually it is donated to help families pay for treatment while in the hospital. It is a bittersweet meeting as there is always more need than they can meet. Their hearts are full of compassion and they work tirelessly as advocates.
Each year the nurses in DRC celebrate the birthday of Florence Nightingale on May 12 by honoring nurses with a time of inspirational sharing during a meal consisting of the ‘’eating of meat’’, which is not the normal menu for a large gathering but displays the importance of contributions nurses have made to the community. Several years ago, they wanted to make their celebration extra special, so they reached out to material makers in the capital city of Kinshasa to create new outfits for the nurses. Beautiful images of Florence Nightingale, a stethoscope, thermometer, and several sayings about professional nursing, respect, loyalty, and the 14 basics of fundamental nursing are woven throughout the fabric. They proudly wear their beautiful outfits signifying their belonging to the Christian Nurses Association of Congo and their dedication to professional nursing.
This year’s celebration was postponed as these communities ready themselves for the possible arrival of COVID-19. We pray this area is spared such a disaster and ask you to keep them in your prayers and/or give a donation toward their needs through the Paul Carlson Partnership at paulcarlson.org/donate.
Where is Congo & who is Paul Carlson Partnership? The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a large country in central sub-Saharan Africa that is divided by the Equator. Our partners, the CEUM (The Communauté Évangélique de l’Ubangi-Mongala – or, the Covenant Church of Congo) live in the northwest region and operate a medical system of four health zones with five hospitals and 120 rural health clinics. This system, once one of the most advanced in sub-Saharan Africa, has been severely damaged by decades of war. The population in this region is approximately six million and is roughly the size of the state of Georgia. With extreme poverty affecting its people, it is very difficult for a medical system to sustain itself, much less improve its facilities without outside partnership. Most people live, on average, about 6 miles away from a health clinic or hospital and must travel on foot or by bicycle on rough, difficult roads, and cannot afford treatment. Rural clinics are staffed by a single nurse and a few guards. Some clinics have solar power for lighting at night, while others light a kerosene lamp just like Florence Nightingale. Fresh clean water is near for some and others are still carrying water from polluted streams.
Paul Carlson Partnership (PCP), a non-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois, began in memory of Dr. Paul Carlson, a medical missionary who was killed in 1964 while serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As stated on their website, ‘’Our mission is to catalyze the holistic growth of healthy families and communities in places of deep poverty. Working together with partners in Africa and elsewhere, we invest in local efforts in medical and economic development.’’ PCP is committed to walking alongside the CEUM as they restore this vast medical system to its pre-war days and beyond.
Nursing and physician volunteers are called Medical Ambassadors who partner with the Congolese medical community through a Training- the-Trainers method using new or updated practices, with the goal to multiply medical training for long-term impact. Learn more at paulcarlson.org/medical-ambassadors.
We honor the Christian Nurses Association of Congo for their dedication in the continuation of professional nursing. Their commitment to public health practices for the betterment of their communities is honored just as Florence Nightingale was recognized in her day.
Ann Hagensen RN, President Medical Ambassador Volunteers Paul Carlson Partnership
Meena’s thoughts on the COVID -19 virus
Meena from Texas has joined us as a roving contributor and we look forward to her unique insight.
COVID-19, or novel Coronavirus, has been spreading rapidly, infecting approximately 2 million people, fatal to thousands more. It has changed our lives, separating us from the ones we love temporarily, or taking them from us forever. It has caused us to distance ourselves, stopping us from enjoying some of the things we love most. It has changed the way we look at the world, change the way we take things for granted in life. It’s strange to think about how one small accident can change our world so much. There are some precautions that we can take to help both ourselves and the people around us, especially the heroes who work tirelessly during these times. Supermarket employees must deal with hundreds of customers, if not more, each and every day.