Thursday, October 24, 2019
Today, our nurses split up to cover three public hospitals in San Pedro Sula – Catarino Rivas, Social Security and Leonardo Martinez. They were eager to see first-hand what clinical issues the doctors and nurses deal with every day in their neonatal units, as well as what resources they have available.
Part of the day at each hospital was spent providing additional instruction about newborn stabilization methods to the nurses who participated in yesterday’s S.T.A.B.L.E.® workshop, this time in small groups. Our team brought mannequins and other equipment and supplies that allowed the Honduran nurses to practice the techniques. It was a valuable opportunity for everyone to learn from each other.
The team also went into the neonatal units to observe newborn care. This allowed our nurses to affirm the areas where best practices are already being used and to provide suggestions for improving care in other situations. The primary goal of the NICU education program is to help Honduran providers create and implement standard guidelines and protocols, especially for sick and pre-term babies. Not only does this result in better outcomes for the babies, but it also gives the nurses great confidence that they are providing the best care.
Oxygen administration, PICC line insertion and care, the importance of keeping newborns warm and medication use were a few of the items covered in today’s small group sessions. Our nurses also listened closely to their Honduran counterparts, learning much about their daily challenges. All of the hospitals experience shortages of nurses and doctors, as well as equipment and supplies such as incubators and appropriate oxygen equipment.
The nurses were once again very engaged in this training. Many are already making plans to put things they learned at the S.T.A.B.L.E. workshop yesterday into place. We also heard that some of the teaching and recommendations from our previous NICU education programs have been implemented and are making a real difference.
The Friends of Barnabas staff is learning a lot, too. It’s truly exciting to see the benefit of the work that has already been done, and to get valuable feedback about what instruction will make the biggest impact in the future. In keeping with the Friends of Barnabas mission, we’re making sure that this program will be sustainable. We’re not only training NICU nurses; we’re also preparing and equipping them to teach each other.
After a full day at the three hospitals, our team reunited at a local artisan market. We enjoyed seeing the unique items for sale, and several purchases were made. Dinner was another delicious experience, but the time spent together was even more fulfilling. Without a doubt, people who had never met until two days ago are already lifelong friends, sharing an incredible bond.
God is blessing us immensely with this opportunity to come and serve His people in a very special part of the world. We are definitely receiving more than we give.