The use of handheld technology has proven time and again to be crucial to healthcare over the past two decades. In many developing countries this is no exception. When a hand held device can have books, notes, and even communication tools (link to other professionals) it is an essential part of planning for the future of any healthcare system.
In Leogane, Haiti, the Faculty of Science in Nursing school became a major medical center in a matter of minutes following the January, 2010 earthquake. Immediately following this earthquake, Skyscape, Inc, and Robert Morris University sent in Handheld Computers loaded with essential tools for practitioners at all levels. The nursing students that began using these tools quickly learned about the power of a strategy that met essential requirements. Portable, rechargeable, up-to-date resources, and connectivity options.
Since that devastating earthquake, many students have taken these tools into their communities. Shirley D. (RN) is married to a community physician in Leogane. Her handheld helps her manage the clients seen in their small apartment/clinic curbside facility. Because many customers only pay $3 us dollars to be seen, there are very few resources for up to date tools and consults with others. They rely heavily on these resources.
Evens J. (RN) is a faculty member at the nursing school and often uses his tools when students are with him in remote villages. These faculty and students are rarely accompanied by physicians and often have to meet the needs of the people in these remote areas as best they can. The resources on his handheld have helped them on multiple occasions identify problems and provide the best plan possible given the limited resources.
Dr. Tim Bristol, nurse educator at Walden University, visits the FSIL nursing school multiple times each year. As a nurse educator with expertise in informatics and e-learning, he has helped the students and faculty at this school effectively integrate the Skyscape tools into their curriculum and clinical practice.
This past March (2012) Dr. Bristol worked with nursing faculty in Leogane to help them develop their teaching skills in clinical and the classroom. They spent a good bit of time identifying ways of improving critical thinking skills in the students and empowering faculty to us active learning. This coming September, he will once again be working with the faculty and students of FSIL to help improve their use of resources (paper and online) as well as further developing curriculum.
For more information on FSIL and their work in Haiti, visit www.haitinursing.org