Shannon Duffy is a pediatric intensive care nurse from the Swedish Medical Center, First Hill Campus, in Seattle, Washington and volunteered for Project HOPE during Pacific Partnership 2015 in Vietnam and the Philippines.
Imagine a group of 15 nurses gathered around a patient in the intensive care unit. The nurses are speaking multiple languages and discuss the patient’s care with him as they change the dressings of his complex wounds. Though diverse in background, these nurses are working toward a common purpose: improving the care delivery and health outcome of the patient.
I am a Project HOPE volunteer on the 2015 Pacific Partnership mission in Da Nang, Vietnam and in Roxas City, Philippines on the USNS Mercy. Among the many educational opportunities this mission has provided for local health professionals is the Intensive Care Nursing Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) at Da Nang General Hospital among. Our team of seven nurses observed patient care, discussed cases with the local nurses, learned from their strengths, and offered suggestions for improving best practices. We held a symposium for continuing nursing education on topics pre-selected by the facility’s nurse leaders. At the conclusion of the three-day SMEE, the participants discussed several intangible accomplishments: we had formed international relationships of education and friendship, improved patient care, and fostered an openness to learn, improve, ask questions, and think critically in nursing care. The potential for sustainable health care improvement drew me to Project HOPE’s programs. During this mission, we are making a lasting impact through education and I look forward to the upcoming SMEE events and the opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds, and flavors of Vietnam.
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