Nurse Shares “Eye-Opening” Experience in Cajamarca, Peru

Check In Day (3)
A line of patients and family members waiting to check in for surgery.

By Tiffany Alongi, RN, PCCN
Trauma, Burn and Surgical Critical Care Units

Audrey Hepburn once said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands- one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

As a young, fresh faced graduate I was thrilled to be starting my career in one of the most prominent and cutting edge hospitals in the country. The idea of nursing was something I had always dreamed of doing. However, the complexity of a true nursing position quickly became evident to me. Nursing is an action packed, fast paced, ‘roll with the punches’ type of position that many are ill-equipped for, but I loved everything about it. I was one of those rare people that when asked could honestly say, “I love my job.”

Tiffany Alongi

Nonetheless, I had begun to feel a growing dissatisfaction. I acknowledged all that I had done here in the states and the impact I had made on some of my patients, but I began to wonder what else I could be doing.  I longed to spread my love for nursing beyond the walls of BWH. Rather than patients coming to me, I wanted to travel to them. I sought to employ my passion, empathy and knowledge on a more international scale in order to help treat patients around the world.

In November 2013, I embarked on a medical mission to Cajamarca, Peru, with an organization known as Medical Mission for Children. MMFC is a nonprofit volunteer based organization which travels to remote geographical locations in order to help children and young adults with the surgical repair of cleft lip and palate deformities, burn injuries, microtia and head or neck tumors. The focus of my mission was to repair cleft lips and palates and dental extractions. Continue reading “Nurse Shares “Eye-Opening” Experience in Cajamarca, Peru”

Researchers Study Statin Use in India

Medications—along with diet, exercise, and smoking cessation—are a cornerstone of cardiovascular risk reduction. The use of statins, which are the medication of choice for prevention, has increased substantially in North America and Europe over the past three decades, and as a result, cholesterol levels and cardiovascular mortality have decreased.

But little is known about statin use in lower-income countries. BWH researchers recently conducted an observational study of statin use in India, which has the highest burden of cardiovascular disease among less-developed nations.

The researchers found that only a fraction of those eligible for a statin actually received the therapy, despite the wide variety of statins that are available to Indian consumers.

“Low rates of statin use in India may reflect problems with access to health care, affordability, under-diagnosis, and cultural beliefs,” said Niteesh Choudhry, MD, PhD, of the BWH Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, and lead author of the paper. “Because of the growing burden of cardiovascular disease in lower-income countries such as India, there is an urgent need to increase statin use and ensure access to safe products whose use is based on evidence.” Continue reading “Researchers Study Statin Use in India”