Celebrating International Nurses Day 2022

Nurse and patient

Today is International Nurses Day 2022 and all of us at the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation are reflecting on the incredible work of Hamlin nurses, and those around the world.

During the last couple of years of unprecedented pressure and demand on health care staff, due to the pandemic, the frontline work of nurses has been truly heroic. 

That includes the Hamlin nurses who have continued to provide quality nursing care to obstetric fistula patients in Ethiopia, practicing compassion and respect for every woman.

International Nurses Day 2022: A Voice to Lead

This year, the theme for International Nurses Day 2022 is ‘Nurses: A voice to lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health’. 

At Hamlin, we agree that all our nurses have a voice to lead and are vital in securing the health and well-being of Hamlin patients, who face devastating child-birth injuries.

Hamlin nurses are vital to many different aspects of patient care, greeting and assessing new patients, assisting in the operating theatre and running daily ward rounds to ensure each woman is in a stable condition.

Having surgery for a fistula injury can be intense and overwhelming, but Hamlin nurses are there by the side of each patient, providing vital post-surgery pain relief and emotional support.

Pre-operative patients at Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for treatment. (Photo by Mary F. Calvert)

Whilst nurses deserve acknowledgement and gratitude every day, International Nurses Day 2022 is an opportunity to recognise the work of the world’s 22 million nurses, including the inspirational Hamlin nurses, and to advocate for greater investments in nurses. 

Nursing and the Hamlin Model of Care

Hamlin nurses are trained in the principles of the Hamlin Model of Care: a fundamental respect for women who suffer from obstetric fistula, and a commitment to provide complete and compassionate care for them. The dignity and kindness with which Hamlin nurses care for fistula patients is key to their recovery. Many of the nurse aides at Hamlin fistula hospitals are former fistula patients, who provide empathy and use their lived experience to care for fistula patients.

Nurse with baby

Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital is a global centre of excellence in fistula surgical care, including the work of nurses specifically trained in caring for fistula patients. Recognising the excellent care and surgical nursing practice maintained at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) has partnered with Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. So far, eight nurses from Yemen, Somalia, Ghana and Congo have trained at Hamlin as part of the FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Initiative.

The Hamlin Clinical Team began working in partnership with FIGO to increase the number of trained fistula surgical nurses around the world. These nurses train at Hamlin’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital to acquire surgical nursing skills and best practice knowledge to treat fistula injuries beyond Ethiopian borders, using the Hamlin Model of Care.

On International Nurses Day 2022, we reaffirm the belief that every patient deserves to be treated with compassionate, high quality care. Click here to learn more about the Hamlin Clinical Team, including some of the incredible nurses who work at Hamlin, who are practising this life-saving care.

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