Heather Trane and Dr. Lynn Clark Callister, Nursing
A key component of the nursing profession is a lifelong commitment to learning with an emphasis on evidence-based practice. Research finds new data everyday as the world is constantly changing. For nurses to provide the best possible care to patients, they need to be up to date on the latest research findings. With a role as educator, nurses are the perfect resource for disseminating new information to countries and communities unable to access it. Nursing journals provide an excellent means for nurses to learn the most recent research findings. And with examples of how to assist in helping third-world countries, nurses are able to discover ways in which they, as an individual, can assist at a global level. One objective of Dr. Callister’s bi-monthly Global Health and Nursing column is to provide information on initiatives being undertaken to assist in the promotion of health and prevention of disease of women and children worldwide. The purpose of this project was to assist Dr. Callister in researching and writing her Global Health and Nursing column for MCN: The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing. Through this objective I was privileged to learn about the process of researching, writing and submitting columns to a professional journal.
As part of this project I assisted Dr. Callister in generating global health topics for her columns. The focus of the column was to develop columns that addressed the World Health Organization Millennium Development Goals as well as chronicling individual success stories of nurses making a difference in the health of women and children across the world. We produced columns that focused on four different continents: Africa, Asia, South America and Australia. The four columns in which I was published as contributor were, “Light and Knowledge: International Council of Nursing Mobile Libraries,” “Full of Good Works: The Tabitha Foundation,” “Mamawasi: Culturally Sensitive Birthing for Peruvian Women,” and “Promoting Evidence Based Decision Making in Australian Childbearing Women.” These columns were the May 2008, July 2008, September 2008, and November 2008 column submissions respectively to MCN: The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing. The first two columns were published in the September/October 2008 and November/December 2008 issues respectively. The last two columns will be published in the first two issues of 2009. An article was published detailing my experiences researching these articles in the Brigham Young University College of Nursing 2009 Issue of Learning the Healer’s Art. I was also able to present this project in November at a Research Conference sponsored by the Urban South Region of Intermountain Healthcare and the Brigham Young University College of Nursing.
What I consider to be my most meaningful experience in the BYU Nursing program occurred as a result of this grant. Because of the money received from the ORCA grant, I had the opportunity to travel to Ecuador with a group of professors and students from the BYU College of Nursing. While we were there we worked in hospitals and in the community assisting with anything that we could. The activity we did most often was that of teaching. We educated nurses, doctors, and Ecuadorians living in the countryside concerning the health issues most prevalent in their country. They had an incredible desire to learn and were very open about the areas in which they lacked knowledge. Due to my research experiences with Dr. Callister my experience in Ecuador became even more pertinent and meaningful.
This mentoring experience has literally changed my life. I have gained a deep appreciation for nursing on a worldwide level. I no longer see assisting in promoting health around the world as an unattainable task. Individuals are making differences everyday in faraway countries. Dr. Callister is an inspiration and taught me countless times the importance of research and assisting the dissemination of knowledge, allowing the lives of others to be blessed by it. The time I spent in Ecuador can never be replaced. The lessons those wonderful people taught me have influenced my practice as a nurse. They love learning and seek for every opportunity to do so. Despite limited supplies, they are extremely resourceful and take wonderful care of patients. A connection developed between our group and the people we interacted with despite barriers of culture, language, and occasionally education. However, the art of healing is a bonding relation that can bring people together all over the globe. Through this experience my love and passion for nursing has grown to include the aspect of global nursing. As I move into my career as a nurse, I am equipped with the knowledge and desire to assist in promoting health and preventing disease in people without the opportunity to access the same information that I am blessed to access. Learning about initiatives that other individuals have undertaken has given me the desire to help with these initiatives as well as empower others with the belief that they too can make a difference in lives across the world.