By Sheila R. Misra, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, CNP
Imagine this. A room the size of a walk-in closet. A wooden table four feet off the floor with a mattress and sheet on top of it. No air circulation. No light except what comes in through the window, and a pocket flashlight. Metal speculums that have to be sterilized in between each patient, with successive dips into two separate buckets of bleach water for 1 hour each, then hot water with disinfectant. No stool to sit on. No sink to wash my hands, only gloves and hand sanitizer. 40 women from Uganda, South Sudan, and Democratic Republic of Congo who need cervical cancer screenings but want full physical exams. Ten hours of back breaking work. But I have never been happier. And I know I saved many lives today. My heart is full. Performing cervical cancer screenings on my knees, in the most austere conditions I’ve ever seen. Serving humanity: this is how I worship.