Mercy Ships Volunteer Nurses Mentor Local Healthcare Providers in Senegal

1 December 2019

Nurse Mentoring has started on the Africa Mercy in the operating room, recovery room, and wards of the hospital, as well as in 2 local hospitals in Dakar.

Since the ship arrived in September 2019, the Mercy Ships Nurse Mentoring team has been working hard to build relationships and gain trust with the local health care leadership in Dakar. These efforts have been focused specifically in the specialties of Maxillofacial and Plastic Reconstructive surgery, where the Partnering Unit Mentoring Programs (PUMP) are focused.

The goal is to partner with these teams to help strengthen and empower the perioperative and postoperative skills of the local nurses and physiotherapist through mentorship and clinical training. The response of the local health care teams in working together with Mercy Ships has been encouraging, with volunteers repeatedly being told that nursing continuing education is needed and rarely available at the local hospitals.

The first group of three local nurses and one local physiotherapist were warmly received on the ship mid-October by the operating room and hospital ward teams. Each participant will spend 2 days a week for 4-6 weeks mentoring with Mercy Ships volunteer nurses.  The local nurses all report so far they are enjoying the mentoring program on the wards and learning new things about wound care techniques, patient assessment, pain management, and getting ideas of how to improve their nursing practice.

The first local hospital nurse training in-service was held in mid-November, when mentors were warmly received by 7 nurses who came to the teaching on the ABCDE’s of assessment in the postoperative patient. Participants in the training provided feedback that they will apply the training in their practice (such as airway maneuvers for obstruction), as well as gave examples of topics they would like to build skills in for the future like tracheostomy care and management of mechanical ventilation.

Mercy Ships strives to improve nation’s medical systems through mentoring and teaching in every port we visit. Learn more >>

Written By: Melissa Davey Edited By: Andrea Gilbert