Stories From the Field:

HAITI

Training Nurses in Haiti

Kerry Quealy's trip to Haiti was supported by an MGH Global Health Travel Award. Ms. Quealy is a family nurse practitioner at Mass General.

EqualHealth is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting quality medical and nursing education in Haiti. The organization was developed in January of 2010, just days after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti that left 300,000 people dead and over 1 million homeless. In addition to this enormous loss of life, the country’s major public nursing and medical schools –as well as the national teaching hospital --were almost completely destroyed. EqualHealth quickly recognized that rebuilding and strengthening Haiti’s medical and nursing education systems was critical for the recovery of the country – a task that would require a sustained engagement. EqualHealth now works with many partners in Haiti towards its mission of providing high quality medical education, leadership trainings, and opportunities for professional development for Haitian physicians and nurses through many diverse programs.

In November 2015, Kerry Quealy, a family nurse practitioner at MGH, received an MGH travel grant to further this mission. Working with EqualHealth nursing team members, Nadia Raymond (ICU nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital) and Kettie Louis (women’s health nurse practitioner at Boston Medical Center), the team traveled to Haiti to support continuing nursing education efforts at the Mirebalais University Hospital (HUM) through the EqualHealth “Teach the Teacher (T3)”program. The goal of the T3 program is to provide ongoing support and education for medical and nursing educators, creating a cadre of master clinician-educators and leaders within the Haitian healthcare system. The program consists of lectures and workshops, as well as direct observation of faculty engaging in their daily teaching.

Over the course of their week spent in Haiti, the nurses delivered training seminars on conflict resolution, nursing mentorship, research skills, and nursing leadership. These seminars were designed for nursing directors and leaders at the Mirebalais hospital and other hospitals affiliated with PIH/ZL (Partners in Health in Haiti). The seminars were conducted over the course of five days – one morning session and one afternoon session for each topic. Each session averaged about thirty nurses, and the sessions were consistently well received by the participants. This trip marks the beginning of a relationship that will positively affect nursing care in Haiti, as evidenced by the fact that there has already been a request for the EqualHealth nursing team to assist in the development of a curriculum for a nursing mentorship program at the hospital. In addition to holding these successful trainings, the team was also able to publicly present the research findings from a study they conducted last year that assessed the continuing education needs of nurses working in Haiti.

EqualHealth would like to thank Mass General Global Health and the MGH community at large for their support of this critical nursing education work.