You Can Mix The Chemo Too!

July 11, 2011


chemotherapy-in-botswanaAfter preparing the chemo and giving it to the kids, a bit beyond my training, I realized we needed help. The one-man show was not going to cut it. My colleagues at Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers came to my rescue. We had a fully developed nursing curriculum that was used to train nurses in pediatric oncology at our satellite McAllen Clinic down in Brownsville. But of course what is available there is not always available in Botswana. So we worked together to adapt the 21 lectures to our Botswana setting. It was critically necessary for the health of our children, and my own as well, to have some nurses around me trained to help with chemotherapy preparation and administration. They needed training. And now we had a curriculum. And so, on Saturdays, we have pizza and I teach this curriculum at 3 levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. I am impressed by their stamina, listening to me for 5-6 hours on difficult topics — on a Saturday no less! I would tell them, here is a curriculum developed by nurses, for nurses, taught by the son of a nurse! And so, we now have 4 nurses who are fully capable of taking care of these kiddos, and a cadre of about 30 nurses and nursing students that have a working knowledge of pediatric oncology, ready to be trained further!

Post by:

Parth Subhash Mehta, MD

Dr. Parth Mehta is the Director of the Global Oncology Program. Before relocating back to the United States, Dr. Mehta lived in Africa from 2007 to 2011. Dr. Mehta served as the Director of the Haemophilia and Oncology Clinic of Botswana at the Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana....

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