Nursing in Mongolia: Adam Drake’s Thoughts

I am very excited about the opportunity to visit the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

As a nurse for seven years I’m proud of the direct role that nurses play in taking care of patients. Wolfson has done a very good job at establishing nursing as a distinct discipline with the power and tools to advocate for our patient’s needs.

I take for granted many of the tools and resources we use to accomplish our jobs. I feel like sometimes our dependence on technology has caused us to lose our hands on skills. I love learning and can’t wait to see what they can teach me about how they accomplish nursing.

Going into this trip I have looked at the different units I have worked on and established a list of questions:

  • What level of technology do the nurses use? How do they complete their manual assessments?
  • What is the working relationship between nursing and doctors? Other medical professionals?
  • How many days a week and hours a day do the nurses work? What are their roles during their working hours? How far do they have to travel to work? What are their patient ratios?
  • How is the hospital set up? Are there different units with defined patient populations?
  • In the NICU we’ve been able to treat patients as young as 23 weeks gestation. How young are the babies they are able to take care of?
  • In the PICU we are able to use sedation and pain medication as needed to help control an intubated patient. How do they manage intubated patients?
  • On the Heme/Onc unit we use port-a-caths to provide easy, quick, and less painful access for blood draws and IV chemo administration. What methods do they use?
  • On the Respiratory unit we have a defined Asthma pathway program that helps Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and Doctors work together to help an asthmatic patient during a crisis and includes education and followup for the family to help prevent future attacks. How is asthma managed in Mongolia?
  • On the Surgical and Ortho units we have a special team of doctors the nurses can work with to help tailor pain management from oral meds to PCA pumps. Do they have a similar program?
  • Our Pediatric Venous Access Team has put together a very specific protocol to help reduce the pain and anxiety involved with IV starts and blood draws. What methods do the Mongolian nurses use to help children during painful procedures?

I want to help teach the Mongolian nurses while I’m there, but I’m hoping to learn from them as well.

-Adam Drake

Leave a comment


  1. Terry Humphrey

     /  August 24, 2013

    May you share your knowledge and grow in knowledge of their ways in healthcare.

  2. Annie Rini

     /  August 26, 2013

    I am very inspired Adam that you have taken time away from work and family, including a new baby, to travel to Mongolia. I know you will have much to offer and so look forward to reading about your experiences. Your questions are great. Be safe and have fun! Annie R.


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