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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vicki Ann Moss, DNSc, MS, BSN, RN (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This book details the experience of Joe Niemczura, a nurse from the United States who volunteered for three months to provide basic medical care to patients in a rural mission hospital in Tansen, Nepal.
Purpose: The purpose was to share with others the day-to-day realities of providing medical care in one of the poorest areas of the world in, as he calls it, The Hospital at the End of the World.
Audience: This would be a very informative and interesting read for nurses and nursing students as well as for other healthcare professionals and laypersons.
Features: The short chapters chronicle his adventure, starting with his departure from his position as a nursing professor in Hawaii to his return three months later. Six appendixes give further information about the Nepali culture and nursing and medical care in that area. Numerous pictures show the mission hospital, colleagues, patients, and other sites from his mission work. A glossary of Nepali terms is very helpful in interpreting some of the information.
Assessment: This is a fascinating discussion of the state of medical care in rural Nepal. The author talks about the lack of modern medical equipment and the grief he experienced at deaths, as well as the joys and the celebration of life that he witnessed. He developed very positive relationships with the nurses, nursing students, doctors, patients, and families, and discovered a lot about himself and his own spirituality. It was very hard to put the book down as I was really drawn into the author's life-changing experience.