My experience through IMA will forever be held in my heart. The impact this has made on not only my nursing career but also on a personal level is truly indescribable. My perspective on life has totally changed and I’ve learned to view things with in broader perspective and with an open heart to all people of all cultures. Nursing requires me to be competent in many things besides just skills. Patients rely on me as their advocate, their hand to hold when no one else is there for them and someone they can trust. My time in Kenya gave me a new perspective on how to do those things and be a better nurse to my patients. The clinical experience was almost better than my experiences at home. To be able to watch how nurses and doctors improvise to deliver the same care to patients at the standard level with limited resources was interesting but most importantly their desire to want to help people and to learn new conditions and treatments was very influential on me. It didn’t matter that they didn’t have many books to read about medical conditions or what level each professional was at they all worked together to formulate a plan of treatment which I think impacted me the most during my observations. The staffing at IMA was also above satisfactory. All of my mentors were so accommodating and always made sure we received the best of the best in our conditions and were very responsive to anything we asked or needed during our stay. The cultural treks I had the privilege to go on were AMAZINGGGGG!!!
If you take this opportunity to travel to Kenya you simply must go on them, it is worth every cent you spend. I still sit back and reflect on my safari experience and I can still feel the “wow” feeling I had when I was in the jeep staring off into what felt like an endless world of animals and natural beauty! It is hands down the most incredible feeling to be out there in the natural environment of these beautiful animals and watch how they function without being held captive in a cage. An experience I truly never could forget. My time in Kenya is something I will always hold near and dear to my heart and continue to let influence my future career decisions. I hope to someday return and provide more care to those in need and expand my cultural competence even further as a Nurse Practitioner.