By Magda Louis-Juste, ONS Congress Attendee
I have been a nurse in Haiti for eight years. Three years ago, I decided to become an Oncology Nurse because cancer has become a Public Health issue in my country. I am currently working at the first and only facility that provides free cancer care in rural Haiti.
The ONS 44th Congress has been one of the greatest experiences that I have ever had. This experience was only made possible because of the ONS Congress scholarship. I am really appreciative of this amazing opportunity, and I felt honored to be around and exposed to several creative, intelligent, and talented nurses from all over the world. I had the chance to talk with nurses from Brazil, Jamaica, New Zealand, Virgin Islands, and many more. It was an excellent opportunity for me to learn from their perspectives, cultures, contexts, and backgrounds.
It actually was my first Congress and my first time to the US. In Los Angeles, I met with my oncology nurse friend who I work with in Haiti. She is currently living and doing amazing work in Rwanda. She took me to the last book store in downtown LA, the Griffith observatory, and Venice beach etc.
Patient Navigation is a concept that I bumped into when I become an ONS
member. I instantly became very interested, and I could not stop thinking
about how much a patient navigation program would be beneficial for my
patients in the cultural context of Haiti. So, at Congress, I decided to attend every session on patient navigation, and I also bought a book related to that topic at the ONS store called Oncology Nurse Navigator, delivering patient-centered care across the continuum, and I have already finished reading it.
Now, I am reviewing the patient navigation literature and preparing a
presentation for my colleagues in order to share what I learned and create
awareness of the oncology navigation field. Also, I am planning to do a
fellowship in patient navigation and implement a small navigation program for breast cancer patients in the oncology clinic that I am working at in Haiti.
My dream is that in the years to come, patient navigation becomes an integral part of the healthcare process in Haiti.