From Qatar: The Universality of Nursing
June 14, 2013
Robert Browning, Dr. Watson, and Susan Mazer, Ph.D.
“It is when we include caring and love in our work and in our life that we discover nursing, like teaching, is more than just a job; it is also a life-giving and life-receiving career for a lifetime of growth and learning.” — Jean Watson, Ph.D., RN, AHN-BC, FAAN
Continuing our journey in the Middle East this week, it is clear that nurses mirror each other. Along with my husband Dallas Smith, Dr. Jean Watson and Tony Disser of the Watson Caring Science Institute, and Robert Browning of HeartMath, I was in Qatar presenting a two-day workshop on the “Theory, Practice, and Integrity of Human Caring as a Nursing Practice Model.”
Without a doubt, the underlying ethic and foundational calling of nursing transcend politics, nationality, economic status, and cultural bias.
Susan Mazer with some conference attendees.
The nurses in Qatar are from the Philipines, Cuba, Jordan, Canada, American, South America — everywhere. Nurses here come for three years at a time, on contract. The patient population is as diverse.
Interestingly, the only citizens of this very new country are the original 185,000 Qataris. Everyone else are guest workers — ex-pats who have moved here to live. Healthcare for the Qataris is free.
Healthcare for everyone else, though, is not free. Nonetheless, as of 2014, visitors will have to pay for their insurance through their entrance visas and workers will have their insurance paid by their employers. One way or another, everyone will be insured. Seems like Obamacare is global care…and the issue of all citizen-access to healthcare services is now finally pressing all countries.
However, more importantly, the objective of the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), which provides 90% of all healthcare in Qatar, is to achieve Magnet status for all of its hospitals. This requires moving nursing forward and holding themselves accountable for consistency in leadership and practice. Also, in 2014 Magnet status will require that the patient experience be included as an accreditation metric.
Being in the Middle East and observing what is happening in the U.S. makes me move from hoping to knowing, from dreaming to being accountable — because the core of nursing that meets every one of us, meets us in our hearts at times when life itself is in question.
That place is, too, where we each can make decisions that will change our conflicts into engagement and opportunity. I send all of this hope to you as Dr. Watson has sent it to nurses, HeartMath has moved heart-focused living across the globe, and we continue, together, to move caring into a global consciousness of service and compassion.