When Passion Meets Profession | RN to BSN Alum Serves in Uganda

Mar. 19, 2013 - by arcurtis

When Passion Meets Profession

RN to BSN Alum Serves in Uganda

March 28, 2013
MidAmerica Nazarene Univesity RN to BSN Alum Anna Glendon Serves in Uganda

By Anna Glendon
With contributors Eva McDorman and Carol Best

MNU alumni are spending significant time in service across the globe. In many ways they are the hands and feet of Jesus to those they assist. Anna Glendon, a recent graduate of the RN to BSN degree completion program at MNU’s Liberty, Mo., site, took a one-month trip to Uganda with Project Helping Hands on a medical mission in January 2013. Originally a cardiac medical/surgical acute care nurse, a career change to clinical nursing in infectious diseases ignited a passion in Glendon for the care of individuals with HIV/AIDS. Glendon told MNU about her third-world experience in a recent interview.

Tell us about your mission in Uganda.

I spent one month in Uganda with a nonprofit organization that sends interdisciplinary medical teams to third-world countries. We stayed near one of the most densely populated slums in the world called Kawempe, in the capital city of Kampala. The team was comprised of six registered nurses, two physicians, one dentist and at least 125 Ugandan volunteers. We brought all of our supplies from the U.S. in our checked luggage; 100 pounds per person of medications, assistive devices, lab supplies and procedural instruments. While there we bought more supplies.

People line up early and wait hours to be seen. We treated 250-350 patients of varying complexity and gave out 700 prescriptions.

A major component of the mission was to educate locals and village healthcare providers with a goal of seeing them become self-sufficient.

What stood out to you during your experience in Uganda?

I treated an HIV baby who had lost both parents and was taken from a desperate situation. He is now in a stable and therapeutic orphanage with other HIV positive kids. My initial reaction was to question how so much bad could happen to an innocent baby. While I was focused on the negative, my Ugandan interpreter said, “That boy is blessed, he should be happy.”  He went on to explain, “His parents died, but he didn’t. His aunt neglected him, but he survived. He lives in an orphanage with other people like himself, so he won’t be lonely. God has a plan for him and this should make him happy.”  

In that moment, I was schooled in optimism by a baby who was raised in a Ugandan slum without two shillings to rub together. Therein lies the beauty of mission work, you are both the teacher and the student. Everyone can learn from one another.

How did this experience make you a better nurse?

Medical mission work is one of the most authentic forms of nursing. It gives one an opportunity to utilize one’s knowledge and “hands” to improve the physical and mental well-being of people who would otherwise not have access to medical care. To say I am a better person and nurse for having taken this journey may sound cliché but is also the truth. I received much more than I gave, and it was my privilege to have met so many fascinating people.

How has MNU prepared you for this mission and to be a servant leader?

What I learned in the RN to BSN degree completion program is that experience is fundamental to successful nursing but only when paired with self-exploration, evidence-based practice, servant leadership and lifelong learning. Experience is beneficial if the lessons learned are applied to nursing practice in a meaningful way. MNU gave me the tools to apply my nursing and life experience so I could identify the qualities and shortcomings in my practice making me better for my peers, employer and patients.

Glendon urges others to consider helping Project Helping Hands (PHH). The organization welcomes healthcare professionals from all disciplines, including students. PHH also has space available for non-medical personnel. Visit http://projecthelpinghands.org/, to learn more.

You may also view Ms. Glendon's photo gallery on Flikr.

apply-banner-300

Fill out our free online application and advance your career!

Apply Nowinfo-banner-300
Enter your contact information and one of our experienced admissions representatives will contact you shortly!
 

MNU News

Thursday, April 2
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
AcademicIcon
New Agreement Will Result in More Earned Degrees

New Agreement Will Result in More Earned Degrees

The Kansas Association of Community College Trustees (KACCT) and the Kansas Independent College Association (KICA), of which MNU is a member,…

Read More
WoSBanner
Week of Scholarship April 7-10

Week of Scholarship April 7-10

MNU’s second annual Week of Scholarship is April 7 through 10, 2015, and highlights student and faculty achievement at MNU. The public is encouraged to attend and most events are free of…

Read More
7x7logo 1
7X7 Challenge Returns On April 7

7X7 Challenge Returns On April 7

MNU’s exciting 7X7 Challenge is back April 7, at 7:07 p.m. in Bell Cultural Events Center. Watch then vote for your favorite presenter when 7 MNU professors each give 7-minute presentations. Enjoy…

Read More
Andrew Ballew
Alum Says Community Makes the Difference

Alum Says Community Makes the Difference

Andrew Ballew, Psychology ’06, describes his job as continually changing and unpredictable from day to day, “one day I could be ducking under the thrown toys of a 6 year old in the morning and in…

Read More
Marge Smith, MNU Founding First Lady
Remembering A Modern Day Pioneer: Marge Smith

Remembering A Modern Day Pioneer: Marge Smith

Margaret “Marge” Emma Camfield Smith, age 96, of Olathe, Kansas, beloved founding first lady of MidAmerica Nazarene University, went to be with…

Read More
From Left to Right: Mayor Copeland, Mrs. Marge Smith, and Drs. Paul and Connie Cunningham
MNU Mourns Passing of Founding First Lady

MNU Mourns Passing of Founding First Lady

Marge Smith, wife of founding president, Dr. R. Curtis Smith, passed away quietly on Sunday, March 15, 2015 at the age of 96.  Surrounded by her…

Read More
PhilipWhite WhistleStop
Author and Alum Phillip White at MNU March 26

Author and Alum Phillip White at MNU March 26

Phillip White, celebrated author of his new book, Whistle Stop: How 31,000 Miles of Train Travel, 352 Speeches, and a Little Midwest Gumption Saved…

Read More
Game Pieces Icon
Grant to Fund Resource on Games and Learning

Grant to Fund Resource on Games and Learning

MNU is the recipient of a $5,000 Carnegie-Whitney Grant from the American Library Association to develop an annotated bibliography on analog games…

Read More
AurelienNorest2
Norest Most Decorated Soccer Player

Norest Most Decorated Soccer Player

Aurelien "Frenchy" Norest is the most decorated individual player in the 13-year history of MNU Men's Soccer. In his four years at MNU, the defenseman helped lead the program to four straight…

Read More
Sports
Rocky Lamar Named Head Coach at William Jewell

Rocky Lamar Named Head Coach at William Jewell

After 29 seasons at the helm of MNU, NAIA Hall of Famer Rocky Lamar has accepted the head coach position at NCAA Div. 2 William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri...(click title for more)

 
Gameday Central: Postponed

Gameday Central: Postponed

Due to weather, today's softball double header at Evangel has been postponed.

 
Pioneers Split With Owls

Pioneers Split With Owls

Hayley Gately's 3-run homer highlighted a non conference split double header with William Woods on Tuesday...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
DSC03809 Our senior Nursing majors made their annual trip to Haiti over spring break.
DSC03801 Our senior Nursing majors made their annual trip to Haiti over spring break.
DSC03781 Our senior Nursing majors made their annual trip to Haiti over spring break.
DSC03777 Our senior Nursing majors made their annual trip to Haiti over spring break.
DSC03774 Our senior Nursing majors made their annual trip to Haiti over spring break.
DSC03773 Our senior Nursing majors made their annual trip to Haiti over spring break.