| May 12, 2015
Reflections from the Field
Being a nursing student in Ethiopia presents all kinds of challenges, from supply shortages, to long commutes, to difficult-to-reach locations, but it also brings many rewards. This quarter, the students at Alkan University reflect on their experiences in the health facilities, what they have observed, and how they feel they are making a difference in saving lives.
When asked about the health facilities, every student observed and reflected on the inadequacies they witness. From supply shortages to lack of training facilities, the students encountered challenges in the facilities where they worked. Haymanot notes, “the institution has a shortage of the necessary equipment and no learning center for the demonstration of different cases so that students are able to discuss [with] each other.” However, she also adds that despite these shortages, the health professionals at each facility do their best to care for their patients. “The health institution provides an excellent service to its customers. The health professionals are so nice and they treat their patients appropriately.”
Despite these shortages, working with and learning from other health professionals has proved to be very rewarding during these clinic visits. Tsheay says, “it is the cooperation of many stakeholders which has a great contribution in saving lives. Out of these, the health professionals at the health facility are the most important. During my stay at the health facility I [had a] good relationship with this health professionals and got a good skill by observing what they were doing, asking them about things which were new to me, and share[ing] their experience.”
But, what has been most rewarding for each of the students is learning how to be a nurse, and witnessing the impact nurses can have on their patients. Almaz reflects, “the profession I am learning taught me how to work with patients. I am satisfied when I am giving care to them even in difficult circumstances.” She looks to the future and what she hopes to accomplish in the coming years as a nurse, and what impact she can have on improving patient care. “I am having the vision to support and keep patients safe and healthy. To drive progress on the way care is provided, I am focused on improving the coordination and integration of health care, engaging patients more deeply in decision-making and improving the health of patients with a priority on prevention and wellness. These major strides in patient safety are a result of strong, diverse coordination and active engagement of the health professionals, patients, and families. I feel that I am one of these concerned bodies to make a difference in saving lives.”
Thank you to the nursing students at ALKAN University for sharing your reflections with us and being the stakeholders that create change. And to those who support these students and our continued mission to serve as champions of the frontline health worker, thank you too. To learn about other ways IntraHealth International is empowering frontline health workers, visit us at www.intrahealth.org or sign up to receive our news and updates.