As a nursing student you are expected to make a choice as to what field of nursing you would like to go into. There are many options that a student could look into, working at a hospital, clinic, or even teach. However, maybe an entirely different option should be thought of such as working for a humanitarian organization. There are many organizations to choose from that have a nursing component. One of them has stuck out, maybe because they integrate the four phenomenon of good nursing into their own mission statement. This group is Doctors without Borders also known as MSF for Medecins Sans Frontieres. A not for profit organization that “provides independent, impartial assistance in more than 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters.” (Doctors without Borders [MSF], 2012)
The philosophy of Nursing for Rockford College is divided up into four key concepts. These concepts are nursing, health, person, and environment. Each part is integral in developing an outstanding nurse. The same concepts are found in the charter of Doctors without Borders and will be explored throughout this paper. “MSF’s work is based on the humanitarian principles of medical ethics and impartiality.” (MSF, 2012)
According to the Rockford College school of Nursing manual, “Nursing is an art and a science concerned with the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of optimal health.” (Rockford College Nursing department, 2012) Also nursing is described as to having responsibility to society to provide quality health care to all. And to best serve society a nurse should be politically active and practice collaboratively with clients and other health care providers. Doctors without Borders does all of these actions. “Calls public attention to humanitarian catastrophes and by pointing to the causes of such catastrophes, the organization helps to form bodies of public opinion opposed to violations and abuses of power.” (Nobel Prize 2012) They speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols. As a nurse you are the voice of the client even if the client is a group of people.
“Health is dynamic and continuously changing” (Potter & Perry, 2009) Meaning that we cannot count on the knowledge that we have will still be relevant tomorrow. Doctors without borders knows this and has “continuously tried to upgrade its logistical networks and supply chains. And the organization now utilizes specialized medical kits and equipment that enable its teams to start saving lives immediately after they are deployed.” (MSF, 2012) Also according to Rockford College Nursing Handbook health responds to personal biology, lifestyle, the environment and the health care system. Doctors without border strive to help communities rebuild themselves and in turn rebuild the lives of the people in them. In the world of healthcare everything is connected in one way or another, almost like a balancing act. As a nurse you find the balance for your patient, whether its health promotion or just awareness, and Doctors without borders does the same.
It is important to realize that not every human is a cookie cutter image of the one before them. “Each person is a unique, complex, holistic being with biophysical, psychological, spiritual, and socio-cultural dimensions.” (Rockford College Nursing Department, 2012) Doctors without Borders understand this and assess each individual’s situation and come up with a plan that fits each one. However, when they asses their care plans it’s not for one person at a time, but a whole group of people. MSF treats patients with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, sleeping