Recently on one of my social media accounts, I stumbled upon an article about a program in Cleveland, Ohio targeted at the low-income black communities who are suffering from very high infant mortality rates. First of all, to be honest when I hear the term “infant mortality” I think about third world countries without clean running water and inconsistent healthcare, but on second thought that actually sounds a lot like this country (google “Flint water-crisis” and United States healthcare issue) so should I be surprised?
The answer, I think should be: yes. This should be our answer than that means we have become comfortable with injustice and that is very scary. So yes, I am surprised that there are places in this country where newborn babies are dying at alarming rates due to gaps in the healthcare system. Now, if you visit my about page you will see that I am an aspiring nurse practitioner. Oftentimes when I tell my friends of family that I want to be a nurse practitioner the next question is usually: why don’t you just become a doctor? The short answer is, “Because I don’t want to be a doctor.” The long answer is related to what a nurse practitioner does, how they fit into the healthcare community and how much they could help fill in the (many) gaps in healthcare.
Ohio has the highest instances of infant mortality in this country. Most of these infant deaths happen in the African American community. It is more than apparent that the reason behind African Americans being over represented is because of the the high levels of poverty. The program that I mentioned earlier, would send nurses to low-income new mothers for a year. The nurse would visit for a year monitoring the progress of the infant and the mother as well as providing support to these mostly young, single new moms. The people involved in funding this program and implementing it deserve to be applauded. This sound like it will do wonders for not only the future of the community but for the young women raising the future.
This news really inspired me. Sometimes it feels really overwhelming to think about all the things I will need to do just to get into nursing school (GRE, pre-reqs, applications) and then the difficulty of nursing school itself, but when I read things like this I feel such a sense of positivity, determination and hope because it represents what I want to do with my career. This program represents exactly what I hope to one day be a part of. I cannot change the world but I know one day I will be able to make things at least a little bit better for someone and that is what keeps me going.