20 million people...one cancer hospital...the space for hope

This week we embarked on expanding our services at the INP to incorporate cancer care. Partnering with Can Tho Oncology Hospital in Vietnam and building on our Cambodian relationships, our INP Oncology team, Allie Cauvel, Aliza Cutter, and Katie Tarabochia, have started the invaluable processes of completing our needs assessments. Even within each institution we find the barriers to care and the nursing training needs to vary widely. Can Tho Oncology hospital services over 20 million people. At times, these nurses are caring for three patients in a bed and see ratios of over 1 nurse to 40 patients. As is necessary the families of these patients also stay in the hospital to provide some of the fundamental care needed to keep patients healthy and safe. With families sleeping under beds, outside in the lawn, and next to patients, the environment for nurses to work in becomes challenging.

However, no matter the obstacles to safe care we see, we never cease to find remarkable and resilient nurses practicing to the highest standard of care they can. Hand charting for forty patients, administering medications, or trying to triage patient needs, these nurses work hard to care for their patients. We have witnessed innovation and creativity that is unseen in high resourced settings leaving us inspired and hopeful that by empowering our partners and facilitating them to do their best, we can make a difference.

As Aliza reflected this week, “Nursing is so so many things. It is hard and exhausting but also incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. These last few days with the nurses from Can Tho Oncology Hospital have shown me that it doesn’t matter where you are, what language you speak, or how old you are. We are all in this work together.” we feel that bond that only nurses, caring for human life, can share.

Please enjoy our INP Oncology team’s journey as they work along side our partners to improve Cancer Care and nursing capacity.