Volunteering in Jamaica

When you think of Jamaica, you might imagine blue sea, white sands and beautiful views. However, it has the same challenges as most developing countries. Did you know that many people in the Caribbean suffer unnecessarily from treatable blinding conditions?

My name is Nadine Grant-McKenzie and in April I worked with Orbis as a volunteer nurse in Jamaica, which is no stranger to me as my original place of birth. As soon as I heard of the opportunity to help the country that has given me so much, I instantly accepted the chance. I was trained as a registered nurse in Jamaica in 1996 and started my ophthalmic career in 1998 at Kingston Public Hospital. I left in 2000 to join Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, where I am still working today.

I became involved with Orbis in 2017 because it’s a very good charity and I think that I have a lot of knowledge that I can impart. I can remember back in 1998 when the Flying Eye Hospital came to Jamaica, I was very impressed and wished that one day I could be part of such a wonderful project.

I was very excited for this trip, which began on Monday 8th April at the University of the West Indies for our screening day. The subsequent day, I went to the Flying Eye Hospital where I undertook duties as a recovery nurse and conducted teaching sessions with the local nurses and doctors. As a recovery nurse my role is to provide immediate care for patients following anaesthesia and surgery, these surgeries included squint, glaucoma and cataract.

This visit was like a reunion for me as I had the opportunity to meet several doctors and nurses that I had previously worked with before leaving Jamaica - the visit was very fulfilling. Thank you very much for supporting such a wonderful charity.

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