Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Supporting Follow-Up Care

Our first surgical patient, Bobitime, got the thumbs up for discharge yesterday, and the Discharge Planning team was ready to ensure that the boy and his father get home safely.

This team of nurses includes Project HOPE first time volunteer Vickie Bryant. "I wanted to go to Haiti with the California Nurses Association, but it didn’t work out. But in the end it did, because when Project HOPE called, I had all my shots up to date and even had all the necessary gear,”
she says. “This is a life-changing experience,. The exposure to different cultures - including those of partner nations, the Navy, the Army, and even those of volunteers from all over the U.S. – is simply amazing.”

Vickie is a Registered Nurse (RN) and a certified emergency nurse. She works in San Luis Obispo, California in an Emergency Room in which, “we do it all: trauma, open heart, caths, MIs, sepsis, even childbirth,” she says. Of her 10 years in nursing, seven have been spent in the Emergency Room.

Vickie came to nursing after a career in banking and finance. Her mother had been a nurse, so when Vickie was ready to change course, the world of nursing felt familiar. Soon after getting her RN, she also became politically active, rising to become the chief nurse representative for the State of California. She advocates for universal health care coverage and greater safety for both nurses and patients.

Discharge planning is all about safety, so Vickie is in the right spot on this ship. Before patients leave, she reviews their discharge instructions with them, with the aid of an interpreter. She answers any last questions, and then walks down the long ramp to the transport boat. She even takes the forty-minute boat ride with her patients, debarks with them and makes certain that they have transportation ashore to the local hospital or home.

“I love nursing,” Vickie says. “I’ll be doing this until my patients are pushing me around in a wheelchair.”

Thanks for your interest in Project HOPE -- Kathryn Allen, HOPE Public Affairs Officer

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