Garst wins AAMN 2008 Jadeh Moore Essay Contest.
Shane is an energetic 29-year-old man working toward his second Bachelor's Degree. His first Bachelor's Degree was in Kinesiology (the science of human movement) from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA. Shane currently works as an Anesthesia Technician in the operating room at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, CA. When notified of the award Mr. Garst expressed his sincere gratitude for the scholarship funds.
Shane enjoys volunteering. He is involved in several not-for-profit organizations such as Fresh Start surgical gifts and the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon. He also actively participates in a program that delivers outdated medical supplies for use in India.
He attributes his desire to help the needy, poor and underprivileged to his grandfather, Dr. Garst, a medical missionary who founded the Rehabilitation Institute and Hospital for the Disabled (RIHD) in Bangladesh at a time when large numbers of war victims had little prospect of treatment. As a nurse Shane feels he will be able to do much for society in giving his skills to the underprivileged.Here is a copy of the 2008 award winning AAMN Jadeh Moore Essay by Shane Garst.
"Improving Health and Well Being of Men and their Families"
The nursing profession can become involved in men's health initiatives in more ways than is being practiced today. For example, the creation of clinics to treat males exclusively may allow male patients to feel more comfortable about addressing issues specific to their health. This idea of male clinics can also be taken a step further to include a clinic staffed primarily by male nurses and doctors in hopes of increasing confidence and feeling of confidentiality with issues they might otherwise not want to address.
Male nursing clinics can be a real benefit to communities in that males are usually hesitant to take care of their own health problems. They are more apt to letting signs and symptoms progress before they take any action to get treatment. Underserved and uninsured populations can really benefit from male clinics especially in San Diego, where an increase in minority population and lack of healthcare coverage affect whether they get treatment or not.
Shepard (2007) states that there are "three factors affecting men's ability to seek medical help: culture and socialization, fear or embarrassment, and a perceived lack of understanding by health professionals of men's health needs" (Shepard, 2007). Nurses today, regardless of gender, can assist males and their families in understanding the importance of early detection and prevention of disease. Nurses can empower males with the knowledge that they can improve their health and well being by taking the initiative to have frequent exams, labs, and check-ups. Creating male clinics can make this process more convenient and easily accessible. Men can use ample advisement and teaching by nurses that will greatly impact their future health status as well as that of their families.
An increase in the number of male nurses and clinics can also change the stigma that "the nursing profession is primarily for females." By increasing the number of males in the nursing workforce can provide a non-dominating environment for men to feel more apt to open up about their health concerns. This will allow for men to be approached in a more male oriented way.
Families also play a significant role in whether men get treatment for their health issues. According to the Men's Health Network (2005), "recognizing and preventing men's health problems is not just a man's issue...its impact on wives, mothers, daughters and sisters, men's health is truly a family issue" (Men's Health Network, 2005). Men need to be informed that early treatment and prevention is not just beneficial for them, but they in turn, act as role models for their families in placing value on health and well being.
Providing health initiatives for males and their families is an excellent way for nurses to spread healthcare knowledge. Upon obtaining his bachelor's degree in nursing, the author of this paper plans on setting up community outreach tents and booths at public places where males are more likely to gather in hopes of reaching adolescent and adult males in time so they can make informed decisions about their future health decisions. The idea is to have predominantly male nurses run the booths and provide a comfortable and relaxing environment that inspires them to be proactive about their health and have them coming back time and time again.