Posted by Gail VanVoorhis, MSN, RNC-NNP, educator/advisor for simulation and skills labs - November 2013
I would like to share with you the tour of Rwanda that is my job going from school to school throughout the country. Here is a map so you get an idea of the geographical locations.
Just a little news from Rwanda: The University of Rwanda is now official and all the schools you will see are now the various campuses of the University of Rwanda. There are many Colleges within the University and we are now under the College of Medicine and Health Sciences. We have a new Principal over that College. This poses some changes because we are “One” university. The process has started to standardize curriculum and clinical experiences. All the schools of nursing are now under one Dean and so changing jobs is another daily process here. For HRH it means some changes in our twin’s titles but generally we are all doing the same jobs of helping improve education for nursing.
And here is a picture diary of Nursing and Medical Schools of Rwanda:
View of Lake Kivu on the way to the Kibuye School for health sciences and students heading to the community building for their orientation. This is the first year campus for Kigali Health Institute so all students are here for a year. This is a year of basic sciences. It is a tranquil beautiful place and I can honestly say if I worked here I would live longer! The road to get here from Kigali is long and very twisty. We arrived at night so I didn’t actually see the lake till I woke up in the morning. This is the only place I ran into pit toilets so far.
Kigali Health Institute (KHI): Just around the corner from CHUK and uphill a bit from the downtown area in Kigali. Students are here for 2-3 years for all healthcare schools except Medicine. It is the only BSN for nursing and as of October 7th BS in Midwifery in country. KHI also has the diploma courses for nursing and midwifery, radiology, physiotherapy, dentistry, ophthalmology. The picture on the left is dorms on the upper floor and classrooms on the ground floor. The building in the picture to the right is the School of Dentistry and also the skills labs for all on the 4th floor. We call the steps the “Death Stairs”. Steep and narrow. Keeps us in shape!
Rwamagana Hospital. About an hour east of Kigali this hospital has lots of new construction going on. A district hospital, they have lots of land and are spreading out a bit. Wards are separate buildings on the compound. The common Laundry for patient families on the right and you can see the field in the back that is planned to be a garden to supply food for patients and staff. May be an Umuganda day soon! (That is the last Saturday of the month when all are out for half a day doing community service).
Rwamagana School of Nursing and Midwifery is located just a couple of blocks from the hospital. Entrance to the school on the left and one of the two skills labs on the right. We spent an afternoon here going through the skills labs doing a picture inventory and helping to reorganize the equipment. Great skills lab staff and the rooms are set up so one is for midwifery and one for general nursing.
A rare site for us but not for Melody and Stewart! African Cranes are living in their front yard in Butare located about 2 hours south of Kigali. To the right is CHUB (Centre Hospital Universitaire de Butare) which is a referral hospital and home to the Former National University of Rwanda (Medical School).
More Pictures of CHUB. Left: looking out the back of CHUB toward the Medical School campus. Right: Walkways between the hospital wards are mostly covered so in this rainy season you can navigate between buildings.
Kabgayi (pronounced Cab Guy) School of Nursing and Midwifery. Located about an hour south of Kigali and half way to Butare. This is the first nursing school in Rwanda with Catholic roots.
On the path to go back to the school in Kabgayi and to the right is the church which was the first Catholic Church in Kabgayi, Rwanda. They celebrated their 100 year Jubilee the first weekend in October.
Byumba SON is located about 1 ½ hours north of Kigali. They have a very well equipped lab that has the only Noelle birthing simulator in country. On my day to visit here I was getting over a night of terrible stomach upset (the dysentery diet) so Susan Bosworth graciously took pictures of their lab for me.
I have Byumba, Nayagatare, and Kibungo to visit yet. There are also two private schools in the country which are on my list but are a grey area as far as the University of Rwanda goes. This last two weeks of October have been National Nursing License testing. The first week is written (paper and pencil) and the second week is the clinical testing. Many of the USI faculty are going to the districts to help with the clinical testing that will be a clinical skill on real patients that is observed by faculty.
I love that this job allows me to see all the schools and get to know the country and many of its people. All the districts have been welcoming and the HRH staff in each place has been gracious and make us feel like we are visiting relatives at home. The hospital staff are very happy to show us the improvements that are being made, and the faculty at each school are anxious for more help from USI faculty.
These last pictures are waking up (on the left) and the view outside of our house at sunrise and on the right a beautiful sunset from the dining room of Bamboo, a restaurant in downtown Kigali.
Murakoze Cyane for taking the tour. Uramuke ho from Rwanda!!!
Posted by Trish Martin - October 2013
Muraho! This is the Rwandan greeting for "Hello"! Welcome back to our blog of our experiences working with the wonderful people of Rwanda.
The Human Resources for Health (HRH) orientation was a great time to continue to meet people from the HRH program. We have met so many intelligent, highly motivated, passionate people from various interesting backgrounds. There are doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, and human resource specialists. Some have made international service their life's work and some are new to international work. The camaraderie is infectious and supportive as we all find our way in a new country with its many challenges.
The University of Maryland cadre of nurses in Rwanda has been assigned to schools and hospitals throughout the country based on our qualifications and their needs. We are working as clinical mentors or nurse midwives in various hospitals or as advisors to schools of nursing and midwifery. We are proud to have the simulation lab specialist for the country as part of our distinguished UMSON group. The country of Rwanda is roughly the size of Maryland. To give you some perspective, we have been assigned to one of the following locations on this map as our home base: Kigali, Nyagatare, Kibungo, Kanombe (a Kigali suburb), Rwamagana, Butare, and Kibuye. We are affiliated with a school of nursing and midwifery in these towns to assist with teaching, transition of students to their clinical rotations and curriculum development.
There are four referral hospitals in the capital city of Kigali. These include University Central Hospital of Kigali (CHUK, pronounced Say-ahhsh-oou-kah), King Faisal, which is a privately owned hospital, University Teaching Hospital of Butare (CHUB, pronounced: Say-ahhsh-oou-bay), located in the southern province of Rwanda, and the Rwanda Military Hospital, located in Kigali near the airport.
Earlier this month the entire HRH group of clinical mentors and nurse midwives met for our first monthly meeting. The meeting started with introductions and allowed us to briefly describe our previous professional experience. The returning faculty from last year shared their experiences and advice. We discussed our evolving roles within the hospital and school of nursing environments. In an effort to avoid duplicity and to share our work with the entire group, we decided to create a community dropbox. Much discussion surrounded how to effectively engage students, techniques to avoid staff using students for tasks and the roles of school clinical instructors and hospital nurse preceptors.
We work collectively to share our expertise and also work individually based on our unit's needs. We certainly work hard but we also play hard! We played our first "Kigali Kings" baseball game with the local kids, started a monthly "Iron Chef" party (last month's ingredient was milk, this month's is avocado), ate a communal Ethiopian meal guided by two Ethiopian members of our HRH team and hosted a bachelorette party complete with a bridal veil made from the remnants of a mosquito net!
Check back next month for more of our adventures of working and living in Rwanda!