Tumaini - Hope
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This thesis explored the question “In what ways are nurses’ sense making and meaning making affected by culture and context on a medical mission in Kakamega, Kenya?” A qualitative inquiry took place during a nurse-led medical mission in Kakamega, Kenya. Eight nurses’ journals, including the researcher, were examined for themes around the cultural and contextual factors upon which nurses reflected. A subsequent focus group was conducted with 5 of these nurses following the mission to confirm and clarify the data and explore any new themes identified. Findings demonstrated that as nurses compared their lived experience in Canada to the conditions they were encountering in Kenya, they became increasingly aware of gaps in their understandings. As they attempted to bridge the gaps of their inexperience, coping emerged as a significant theme by which nurses dealt with these unique cultural and contextual circumstances. The results imply the need for a stringent recruitment and interview process when considering participants for a mission and the necessity of comprehensive premission education for nurses. Primarily, it is essential to provide emotional support for nurses during and following the mission. It can be inferred from the implications of this study how organizations must be diligent in preparing nurses for all aspects of the mission including the significance of a unified team process.