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Authors

  1. MAYES, LYNN-RENEE J. BSN, RN-BC
  2. NURNBERG, KRIS BSN, RN, CPN

Article Content

Care without borders

> My spirit leapt when I read "My heart Belongs in Haiti" (May, 2014).* Two years ago I was asked to go on a medical mission trip to Nigeria. Before I knew it, I'd received my vaccines and my husband was taking me to the airport. He kissed me goodbye and said, "Go and change the world." I was so scared, but the experience changed my perspective on the world and enhanced my nursing skills.

  
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When my team first stepped off the bus, the Nigerians waiting for us in the scorching sun all stood and smiled. The air was filled with thanks, singing, and prayers.

 

The days were long and hot as we worked from sun up to sun down. It was hard to watch people die and know that they could have been saved if healthcare was more readily available. One of the physicians said, "We can't save them all, but the few that we touch change the outcome for many." The people in Nigeria are extremely poor, but the bonds of family and faith are some of the strongest I've ever seen.

 

I recommend that all nurses volunteer their time and talent to a developing country. It strengthens nursing skills and teaches you about advocating for service in global communities.

 

Standard measurements prevent errors

> A couple of years ago I read a short article in your journal about an accidental overdose of liquid acetaminophen given to a pediatric patient ("Drams Drama," Medication Errors, September, 2012).* Because the dose was measured using a medication cup marked in both drams and mL, the child mistakenly received 5 drams instead of 5 mL of medication. This got me thinking about the cups we used on our pediatric unit. Sure enough, we were also using medication cups with multiple measurements, some archaic: tsp/TBS/DSSP/drams/mL/cc.

 

Although we consistently use oral syringes specifically designed to administer oral medications, I felt it was dangerous to have these cups with all of those measurements on them. I worked with our supply chain and was able to replace the cups to ones that display only mL/cc. It took about a year and a half to complete the process, but it's finally done. In fact, the new cups are now used throughout the hospital to help prevent medication errors.

 

Thanks for a great journal. Although I work on a general pediatric medical-surgical unit, I frequently find useful articles and information that I can incorporate into my practice.

 

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-LYNN-RENEE J. MAYES, BSN, RN-BC

 

Newark, Del.

 

-KRIS NURNBERG, BSN, RN, CPN

 

Brook Park, Ohio.

 

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