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Learn how Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) members turned a passion for improving care into action by holding donor-funded training in resource-limited areas.
Ask a group of dedicated medical professionals what led them to their careers and many will have an inspiring story to tell — a seminal moment that motivated their choices and played a key role in their destinies.
For Kwame A. Akuamoah-Boateng, ACNP, MSN, an SCCM member and clinical professor at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, that moment came when he was a very young child growing up in his native Ghana.
“My twin sister was very sick,” Mr. Akuamoah-Boateng recalled. “She wound up developing a very high fever, and when she was taken to the hospital, the doctors failed to realize how ill she really was. Instead of receiving critical care, she was given paracetamol [acetaminophen] to help lower her fever. After several days of that therapy, she developed septic shock and ultimately passed away.” That was a moment that would have a very big impact on Mr. Akuamoah-Boateng later, when he was deciding on a career path.
“I went into healthcare with a mindset of making a difference,” he said. “Now, that may sound very vague to most of us. But to me, making a difference means touching the lives of those who can be saved but whose healthcare options are limited by poor infrastructure, lack of resources, and lack of access to care. These are people who end up with grave illnesses and high mortality rates simply because the healthcare they need is not available. For me, focusing on acute care and preventable deaths was very important, and it was a driving factor as my career was taking shape.”
Fundamental Critical Care Support Courses in Rwanda
Giving back is another major driver for Mr. Akuamoah-Boateng, and one that truly came to fruition a little over a year ago.
“I was teaching in the acute care nurse practitioner program here when I was introduced to Dr. Rhuato Paulin Banguti, a visiting physician from Rwanda,” he remembers. “During the course of our conversations, a friendship eventually developed, and we realized a shared interest in the challenges facing many communities in African countries—namely, the shortages and challenges that exist in critical care medicine, along with the high mortality rates in these countries.
"In Rwanda, the mortality rate is above 60%, and the majority of the doctors there had no structured clinical care training. Thinking about all those challenges led me to the SCCM’s Fundamental Critical Care Support (FCCS) course. My hope was if we could match education and skills stations to the student's resources and needs, it could have a major impact on the care they provide and the people they treat—and ultimately save lives,” he said.
Working with the SCCM Carolinas/Virginias Chapter, Mr. Akuamoah-Boateng organized a mission to Kigali, Rwanda, where he and 10 other faculty members led a two-day FCCS course for 38 students, including nurses, physicians, residents, emergency medicine specialists, and other healthcare providers.
Posted: 11/18/2019 | 0 comments
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