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Resource challenge - US Nurse Anesthetist needed for Liberia

By Mary O'Sullivan | 08 Nov, 2016

I am a US Nurse Anesthetist teaching in Phebe Nurse Anesthesia Program at the Phebe Paramedical Training Program and School of Nursing in Liberia, West Africa. I volunteer with the Global Health Services Partnership (Seed Global Health, PEPFAR and the Peace Corps - Link attached) giving me the unique opportunity to serve Liberia for one year. The Phebe program and I are working on its curriculum to meet international standards and competencies to not only improve the caliber of the 6-8 anesthetists is produces annually, but also to gain recognition for the profession as a specialty. Liberia's only recognized nursing specialty at this time is midwifery. Without recognition and the status/reimbursement this provides, the country is having increasing difficulty recruiting and retaining anesthetists, compounding its already significant physical and manpower anesthesia limitations after years of war and the ravages of Ebola. As we all know, surgery often does and can not stop for lack of a trained anesthesia provider and this makes for many a disastrous outcome. Here in Liberia, nurses provide nearly 100% of the anesthesia for the country and Phebe is the one and ONLY place to be trained. I am appealing to this community for help spreading the word about Liberia's anesthesia challenges and guidance with identifying one, ideally two, US Nurse Anesthetists willing and able to commit one year of their lives to continue this unique opportunity to, quite literally, change the landscape of anesthesia for an entire country. I am grateful for any and all feedback!

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Replies

 

Janet A DEWAN PhD CRNA Replied at 7:52 PM, 8 Nov 2016

Mary , You are doing wonderful work with our faculty colleagues in Liberia. The SEED model of partnering with educators offers the best opportunity for sustainable health system improvement. The nurse anesthesia program at Phebe has the potential to educate clinicians who will make safer surgery a reality in Liberia. I know volunteer educators are well supported both with financial assistance and cultural adjustment by the integrated SEED/Peace Corps partnership in Liberia. The students are selected, motivated nurses, who show compelling dedication to learning and patient care . The program needs CRNAs to act as clinical and didactic educators who will continue to partner with the Phebe faculty. Thanks for posting this opportunity.

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