Thursday, October 8, 2009

Zambia Catch-Up 1: Copperbelt Nursing by Chris

<>In the Copperbelt Nursing Polytechnic, after the lecture on public health nursing... a number of male students!
<>Stephanie and I looking at CNP textbooks. The school is totally dependent on textbooks, papers and chalk-board lectures. No overhead, no computers... and they are working hard to make it happen!
<>Outside the CNP with some of the students. Many are already nurses, returning for their 'diploma' and advancing their skills

08 Oct Hello, all! This is a catch-up on the last bit of the '50 days in Zambia' Blogs... from Sept 5 until my fly-out of Ndola on Sept 15th, I was unable to Blog on the last days, and the good things that happened... here is a catch-up Blog.

I had previously blogged on making a connection with the Copperbelt Nursing Polytechnic in Ndola, one of Zambia's few private nursing schools. Founded and run by Stephanie, a woman of faith, she and her faculty have over 100 nursing students who complete a 3-year curriculum for a 'diploma' status in Zambia. At my first meeting, Stephanie invited me to come and lecture to a group of students about the public health nursing HIV AIDS project I was working on. Her school is faith-based, with an emphasis on spiritual development as the skills of nursing are perfected.

So, today (8 Sept) I had the honor of delivering a 2-hour interactive lecture on "Community as Patient: Ndola and HIV AIDS Services". Little did I know that, in the room of 35 students, there were a number of practicing nurses who have returned to gain the higher 'diploma' status, many of whom are active in governmental clinics and hospitals that are direct care-givers for HIV/AIDS clients and programs. I opened up a great deal of discussion on increasing and improving HIV AIDS services in Ndola, and they helped fill the chaulk-board with new ideas! I came away with a couple of distinct ideas that will require further investigation in building the HIV AIDS Ed/Prevent program we are working on.
After the lecture, a few of us lined up on the steps for pictures. The others left quickly at the end of the lecture... big test tomorrow!
Afterword, I met with Miss Stephanie and she showed me some of the current textbooks being used, all dated in the late 1990's. When I return to the States, I will start asking colleagues and fellow nurses to help me send updated textbooks to Copperbelt Nsg.

On the long trip back to my quarters in Kensheni, my heart was filled with a great gratitude to the Lord for the connection with 'my tribe' in Zambia... nursing and nurses... and a significant respect for the dedicated faculty teaching nurses in Zambia. These nursing professionals are working hard to further their skills and abilities in school, and to better care for their patients and fellow Zambians.

I am also grateful for this relationship, and praying how I may be able to help CNP in the future. I have long been trying to connect with a nursing school in a developing/low-resource country in hopes of helping their efforts. I now have this great connection, an invitation to come back and teach on clinical physical assessment skills (one of my favorite topics!), and I hope we can find updated textbooks and nursing skills-lab materials for them.

Lord, bless and protect the Copperbelt Nsg Polytechnic!

Final bit. When Miss Stephanie and I walked into the room, ALL the students stood up and said, "Good afternoon, Professors!" They stood until thanked, and asked to take their seats. After my introduction, I couldn't help but comment that I wish my nursing students were here, and that I bet they would find it interesting... to which a student raised her hand and asked, "you mean they don't stand and greet you in America??" Ahhh, yes....

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