Archive for March 13, 2019

Kingston, Jamaica – Day 2

“Up in The Air”

A day and a life as a nurse at Kingston Public Hospital (Victoria Jubilee Maternity Hospital)

By Nekea Smith

Up in the air would be the best way to describe a typical nurse’s day at this hospital. KPH is one of the oldest hospitals in the world, with 503 beds. It is the only public hospital in Kingston, Jamaica that services the majority of the citizens in Kingston, and the Caribbean. Being a public hospital, the healthcare services that are provided are mostly free to patients, even medication, but free also comes at a cost. At KPH there is a major nursing shortage, which most times causes one nurse to care for anywhere between 7-15 patients alone. KPH is also severely underfunded, limiting resources available for the number of patients’ that KPH services. For example, there are only 9 ICU rooms for the entire hospital, and approximately 9 ventilators. At the Jubilee Maternity Hospital, their NICU has 143 beds but only 1 ventilator. Because the hospitals are public, they are not allowed to turn anyone away. This is when nurses use the best tool available to them; triage. Also, due to policy of not being able to turn anyone away there is an actual shortage of beds for patients to lay on. While visiting the emergency ward the charge nurse stated, “Sometimes we have to put patients on the floor. If that’s what we have to do to save a life, then we get on the floor.” Though KPH and Victoria Jubilee Maternity hospital services the majority of Kingston, and the Caribbean, it is up in the air whether or not it can continue as a public health hospital. With limited funding, and resources, nursing administration says they are just not sure whether they can hold on.

After touring the hospitals, we decided to end our day with a late lunch up in the air. We traveled up the narrow, and winding roads to the top of blue mountain. Our destination was Strawberry Hill. Strawberry Hill use to be home to the manager of famous Jamaican reggae artist Bob Marley. It has now been turned into a resort with absolutely breathtaking views, which made for a very serene, and relaxing afternoon.

Kingston, Jamaica – Day 1

nursing student holds child

By Griselda Gonzalez

Breakfast on the terrace was the best way to start off our morning in Kingston. The open space and sunny Jamaican weather were to die for. The food ranged from traditional Jamaican dishes like Bammy to French toast. After a delicious breakfast, we made our way to The Bethlehem House and helped with getting the children ready for mass. Seeing all of their faces definitely brightened our day. They were full of life and joy. Attending mass was enlightening. I learned of the many ways they include every resident into the service. It was also neat to learn that offerings in Kingston consist of fresh vegetables and fruits that come from community gardens as opposed to money like in America. We danced and sang along with the residents and then thanked them for allowing us to be there at the end of the service.

Our driver, Ron, then gave us a quick little tour of Kingston and took us for a little shopping spree at one of Kingston’s souvenir shops. Everyone that we came across was incredibly sweet and helpful. We were all very excited to see everything that Kingston had to offer!

School of Nursing instructor to be named ‘Ally of the Year’ at Emory Pride Awards

Michelle Sariev, 06N, MSN

By Andy Goodell
Communications Manager, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Michelle Sariev, 06N, MSN, will receive Emory University’s “Ally of the Year” award at the 2019 Emory Pride awards on March 5 at the Miller-Ward Alumni House.

The peer-nominated Ally of the Year award honors and acknowledges contributions made by an individual, department or organization to Emory’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities throughout the past year. These contributions resulted in the creation or improvement of an inclusive, respectful and safe climate for the LGBTQ community, and thereby furthered the mission of the Office of LGBT Life at Emory University.

Sariev is alum of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and currently serves as a clinical instructor for various courses in the School of Nursing that focus on human development and sexuality. She has spent the past 10 years caring for LGBTQ patients’ needs, which includes HIV treatment and prevention as well as transgender and gender-affirming care.

“Historically, nurses have been given the privilege of caring for individuals from all walks of life and assisting individuals and families through the most challenging times,” says Emory School of Nursing Dean Linda McCauley, 79MSN, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAAOHN. “Sexuality is part of the human experience, so it is imperative for nurses to develop the sensitivity to recognize, accept and care for individuals regardless of race, gender, religion or sexuality. It is what we do.”

Understanding that many LGBTQ people have had negative medical clinic experiences is important to Sariev. She knows that anxiety about seeking medical attention often stems from bad experiences.

“Primary care is about keeping people healthy, involving everything from screenings to vaccines to diet and exercise,” says Sariev. “But when you talk about LGBTQ people, they’ve had such a bad experience historically in medical clinics. Oftentimes, they don’t go into care because they’re afraid they’re going to have another bad experience. So they miss out.”

A big part of changing this starts with how nursing students are taught about care for LGBTQ people.  In the spring of 2018, Sariev was recruited by the School of Nursing to teach their Human Sexuality course. The School of Nursing also approved a new elective specifically focused on LGBTQ health. Sariev, along with MSN Program Director Elizabeth Downes 04MPH, DNP, will co-teach that course sometime in the next year.

The community is invited to attend the 2010 Emory Pride Awards. RSVP here.