Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Ghandi

Friday, September 23, 2011

ONE NURSE Awards First "Returning Nurse" Scholarship

   One Nurse At At TIme is thrilled to award another humanitarian nursing scholarship to Jennifer Tucker,RN, MSN, FNP-BC.  A dedicated nurse volunteer,Jenn will be making her fifth medical mission to San Raymundo, Guatemala, in October, with Refuge International.(RI).

Jenn was a One Nurse 2010 scholarship recipient when she previously served in San Raymondo with RI in February 2010. The following are Jennifer's remarks about her 2010 medical mission. We at One Nurse look forward to hearing all about this years mission when she returns.

In Jennifer's words:

Refuge International. It is not merely an organization with hundreds of volunteers.  It is not solely an organization that makes me feel safe in a foreign country.  For me, it is friendship. It is love.  It is serving those that need served the most.  It is the bringing together of people who are not always like-minded but like-souled.  I had the pleasure and joy of traveling to San Raymundo twice in 2010 with Refuge, February and October.

We saw sicker patients this past year, more grossly abnormal clinical findings.  More heartbreak than before.  More joy than before.  We had several patients that we simply had to say, there is nothing we can do for you, your condition will ultimately lead to your death, we are deeply sorry.  It is such a difficult conversation to have in the United States.  But, to have it with a patient and their family who have the wild hope that the gringos can fix anything.  This conversation can cause my heart to stop for a moment.  We hold hands with these patients. We offer comfort medications.  We help the family to understand how to help these people have a peaceful death.  We pray with them.  We cry with them.  We had patients who, by birth or by accident, had brain abnormalities.  Things from which they will never recover.  They will never be “normal”.  To be thanked for giving them the truth about their condition is humbling. It amazes me how the right provider ends up with the patient that needs them the most.  The trip in October saw the birth of a baby in the clinic.  Such hope and joy in a new baby’s cry!

Please do not think of me as a self-sacrificing, amazing person who goes for completely altruistic reasons.  It is not true.  I go because every year, I receive so very much.  Personally, it puts into perspective, my life, my goals, my desires.  It helps me to rely not on diagnostic testing, as there is very little available to me when in clinic.  But, rather, it helps me to develop my hands on skills and diagnostic abilities based on patient presentation.  I bring back the blessings of hundreds of people who we see in clinic.  I bring back the stories of love, hope and sorrow.  I bring back knowledge from every single member of the team I travel with...they all teach me so much.  The students I have worked with made me a better teacher.  The translators, our voices and our ears, infuse the spirit of their people into English that we can understand.  I come home with more friends. The camaraderie of the providers, the long hours, the tears that we’ve shared, bond us in a way that I’ve never been bonded to others before.  Do not think of me as a giving person.  Think of me as a person who has been enriched beyond anything she has hoped to be enriched, loved more than ever, taught in a way that she’s not been taught before and thankful for things she’s never been thankful for.