Bold Voices - December 2017 - 12

NURSE VOICES

Missions of Mercy
An Interview With Nathan Claus

N

athan Claus wears more hats than would seem possible. As
screening supervisor with the international global charity
Mercy Ships - whose mission is to increase access to healthcare throughout the world - he says his job is "part nurse, part
logistician, administrator, case manager, government programs
liaison and more."
How did you get started in nursing or decide to
become a nurse?
My parents are both in healthcare, but I didn't really become
interested in nursing until I first volunteered with Mercy
Ships the year after I graduated from high school. We were
holding a large screening event in Freetown, Sierra Leone,
which several thousand people with medical and surgical
problems attended, hoping to be selected for treatment on the
ship. The need was overwhelming, and I think a seed was
planted in my mind that day that healthcare was a tangible
way to meet the needs of those who are suffering.

www.aacnboldvoicesonline.org

12

A few years later I spent two months visiting a hospital in
rural India. I spent most of my time with the nursing staff,
and I remember coming away from that experience clearly
feeling that I wanted to be a nurse. I was moved by their
compassion and the amount of time they spent with patients
at the bedside as their advocate and caregiver.
How did you become involved in critical care?
Toward the end of nursing school I had a clinical placement in an ICU, and I remember being so impressed by my
preceptor. She was highly skilled, knowledgeable, had excellent rapport with the other disciplines, and knew so much
about her patients. I saw her strong critical thinking skills in
action, and I was drawn to that. It was a very impactful experience. When I finished school I was fortunate enough to get
my first nursing job in a burn ICU, giving me the opportunity
to develop those honed critical care skills that I had witnessed
in my preceptor.

What makes nursing so special?
One of my favorite parts about being a nurse is the flexibility
and the variety of experiences you can have; my role with
Mercy Ships being a perfect example.
I also love the intimate connection to humanity that nurses
have and the opportunity to show kindness to people who
are experiencing hardship and adversity. We are often let into
patients' and families' lives quicker than normal interactions
between strangers. That's a privilege and an honor.
How did you become involved with Mercy Ships?
I was originally introduced to Mercy Ships through a friend
and volunteered twice before I was qualified as a nurse. After
working in the U.S. for several years as a nurse, I finally was
able to return to the ship in a nursing role. I've now been with
Mercy Ships on the screening team for most of the last five
years.
Volunteering with Mercy Ships is an incredible experience.
There are short- and long-term volunteer opportunities for
both medically and non-medically trained people. Check out
the opportunities at www.mercyships.org/volunteer.
What do you typically do?
I work on the world's largest civilian hospital ship, the Africa
Mercy. I lead the team responsible for recruiting and selecting
around 1,500 patients who eventually receive surgical interventions on the ship during our 10-month stay in a country.
Here in Cameroon this required prescreening over 11,000
potential patients to find those who had operable conditions
within the scope of the specific surgeries offered by Mercy
Ships. This can be an arduous and sometimes overwhelming
process having to say "no" to several thousand individuals.
However, there is joy in the process too; getting to accept
someone for secondary screening and eventually telling them
they have been selected for surgery.


https://www.mercyships.org/ http://www.aacnboldvoicesonline.org http://www.mercyships.org/volunteer

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bold Voices - December 2017

Another Angle
Pres Note Front Teaser
Masthead
AACN Updates Scope and Standards for Acute Care Nurse Practitioners
NTI 2018: Make Your Case for Attending and Register by December
Certification Holiday Reflections
Certified Nurses Day 2018
The Spirit of Giving: One Certified Nurse’s Contributions
Improving Joy in Work
Invest in Yourself With an AACN Scholarship
Disinfectant Use Associated With COPD in Nurses
The Joint Commission Revises NPSG 7 Requirements
Guidelines: Noninvasive Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure
High-Risk Vascular Surgeries and Postoperative Myocardial Infarction
FDA Clears MRI System for Premature Babies
New Assay Can Distinguish Bacterial From Viral Infections
Missions of Mercy
How Hospitals Can Save Without Sacrificing Care
DNA Cancer Screening Shows Potential
Smartphone App May Help Screen for Pancreatic Cancer
Cardiologist-Intensivist Model Improves Outcomes
Social Media: Legal and Ethical Issues
Unused Opioids May Pose Health Hazard
AACN’s Facebook Community Weighs In
Conscientious ‘Nudges’ Can Help Patients and Families
Helping ICU Patients With Spiritual Needs
In Our Journals
Transitions
President’s Note
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Cover1
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Cover2
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Pres Note Front Teaser
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Masthead
Bold Voices - December 2017 - NTI 2018: Make Your Case for Attending and Register by December
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Certified Nurses Day 2018
Bold Voices - December 2017 - The Spirit of Giving: One Certified Nurse’s Contributions
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Invest in Yourself With an AACN Scholarship
Bold Voices - December 2017 - The Joint Commission Revises NPSG 7 Requirements
Bold Voices - December 2017 - High-Risk Vascular Surgeries and Postoperative Myocardial Infarction
Bold Voices - December 2017 - New Assay Can Distinguish Bacterial From Viral Infections
Bold Voices - December 2017 - 12
Bold Voices - December 2017 - 13
Bold Voices - December 2017 - How Hospitals Can Save Without Sacrificing Care
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Smartphone App May Help Screen for Pancreatic Cancer
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Social Media: Legal and Ethical Issues
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Unused Opioids May Pose Health Hazard
Bold Voices - December 2017 - 18
Bold Voices - December 2017 - 19
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Transitions
Bold Voices - December 2017 - 21
Bold Voices - December 2017 - President’s Note
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Cover3
Bold Voices - December 2017 - Cover4
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