That is exactly what she has done. After returning to Rwanda, Marie Olive has shared her new knowledge and skills with her colleagues. “My colleagues say it’s great because it has also changed their mind professionally which is great, because we had two ambulances but no one to cover them. For example, you may have a critical patient to transfer in a traffic jam in 5 hours. It was difficult to find a person patient and confident enough to do that. But today, by sharing my new knowledge, there are few problems or fear. Everyone is motivated. So, it’s been a great opportunity”.
Marie Olive, works at a hospital in a remote area in Rwanda with a large population. Most of them are uneducated. “It is challenging because people are not motivated to learn about health care. And if you teach them something, they forget it after a while. Maybe because they don’t care”.
Marie Olive grew up in a larger city which hosts a big hospital. Despite all her friends and classmates having left the village she works in now, she wants to stay. “If I leave, who will come work here? I have to stay and help the community”.
Few of her colleagues has sufficient education and skills. Marie Olive believes this reasons in outdated information as most of them haven’t had the chance to evolve and improve their skills and techniques. “It is a very meaningful job. But we still have a long journey ahead”. Marie Olives ambition for her department is to give her colleagues the same opportunity she’s had through exchange – if not in another country, she hope to have day seminars in larger hospitals.
During and after her exchange, she changed a lot. Professionally, Marie Olive have gained skills and knowledge on how to provide first aid and handle critical cases. Prior her exchange, she was not confident to perform ambulance services as she was scared her skills wasn’t sufficient “I was thinking, what will I do if something happens to this patient? But now I have the skills and confidence as ab ambulance nurse. I work on saving lives”.
As of personal skills, she has advanced her critical thinking. This has also benefited her as a nurse, as she is working with critical conditions and need to think fast. She also learned how to adapt to new things and to be patient. “By being more patient, I learned what interventions was a priority. I has made me more thorough”.
The most challenging experience for Marie Olive, was the language barrier as most of her colleagues spoke Amharic . “Every time I was in the ambulance and had to talk to a patient it was a challenge. I asked the patients a question and they didn’t know how to answer. So, I was dependent of a translator. Sometimes that translator didn’t understand me either. It was difficult”.
To deal with this challenge, Marie Olive started to teach several of her colleagues English. In return, she learned some Amharic. A great solution that everyone benefited from.
Marie Olive has contributed with several skills herself. The most exiting skills she taught her colleagues in Ethiopia was to help advance their digital skills, such as organizing information in digital folder and do updates. This increased the efficiency in her department. “I think I will be missed and remembered for that” she says.
For the future, Marie Olive wants to return to school. She wants to learn more about intensive care.