As I reflect on my experiences with International Medical Aid (IMA) at Coast General Hospital, I am reminded of an ancient African proverb, “seeing is different than being told”. This priceless Internship placement with IMA has shed more light onto this age-old saying. I am still in disbelief, as I reflect on my encounters with patients, healthcare members, and health systems. Some experiences were as if they were drawn straight from Global Health textbooks, while other clinical presentations were so uncommon, it baffled even the most senior of nursing staff. In the States, I have been a practicing Nurse in the perioperative environment for over six years. However, my desire to help others globally is what initially propelled me into the nursing field since Iwas a young girl. This ambition, lead me to complete my Master of Global Health in 2018. However, a deeper curiosity remained, to hopefully yet experience and expand my theoretical knowledge of Global Health and Nursing. This calling eventually lead me to Mombasa, Kenya with International Medical Aid.
This was such an incredible experience. I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of doing. I grew in my self-beliefand determination to practice personal excellence. My experience in emergencies in the A&E, ICU, and Labor Ward has given me the confidence that I can act well under pressure and in fact, I enjoy it. I am a strong patient advocate. This experience has taught me that I am ready to change from practicing in the operating room to another specialty. This experience has also reinforced my passion and desire to work in Global Health. Additionally, I learned that qualitative research is valuable in understanding the social networks among people and environments, and I wish to deepen my research skills. I learned so much about myself, however, my path is still unclear. Wherever my path may lead, I know that it was guided by the experiences shared with International Medical Aid at Coast General Hospital, and for this I am grateful.