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Outreach to Fort Defiance Indian Hospital, Arizona

by Yamila El-Khayat, MALS
Outreach Services Librarian, Arizona Health Sciences Library
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

Pat Bradley, from the University of New Mexico, and I were invited to give a presentation to nurses in Fort Defiance, a nearly seven-hour driving trip from Tucson. The scenery was beautiful as I drove to the northern part of the state. Just looking at the canyons during the drive gave me inspiration for our presentation! The Fort Defiance Indian Hospital is located in the Navajo Nation and is one of the 12 health care centers in this region.

Fort Defiance Indian Hospital

Fort Defiance is located approximately 8 miles north of Window Rock, the seat of government and capital of the Navajo Nation, the largest territory of a sovereign Native American nation in North America. It is another amazing little town with beautiful scenery. The Fort Defiance hospital is one of the largest buildings located in this area, serving all of its residents and those in the Arizona counties of Apache, Navajo, and McKinley; as well as San Juan County in New Mexico. It is a 56-bed inpatient facility that includes an Intensive Care Unit, a Medical-Surgical Unit, a Pediatric Ward, an OB/GYN Ward, and an inpatient Adolescent Psychiatric Care Unit. The facility also provides dental care. Many students do their practice at this hospital because it provides an opportunity for cultural immersion, and also is a good way to learn about the operations of smaller health facilities. As we waited in the lunch line, we spoke to a few students, who mentioned how impressed they were by the work that goes on in a small facility, but they also found it difficult to adjust, similar to a culture shock. Overall they expressed much appreciation for this experience, and knew it would make them better professionals.

Pat and I gave two presentations, with a total of 19 participants, including nurses from different practice areas, but all very interested in Evidence-Based Medicine. Pat began by giving them an overview of open source resources, and then introduced them to the PICO method of building an effective search strategy to locate evidence-based literature, along with the use of Boolean operators. I ended the presentation by doing a more in depth class on PubMed and how to search PubMed using limits, the advanced search capability, the clipboard, and how to utilize the functions of My NCBI. Many audience members asked questions, and were very impressed with the tools that PubMed offered to enhance the searching process. All participants were very appreciative and expressed much gratitude for this presentation. One particularly memorable comment was: “I can’t believe how easy you both make searching look, when I tried searching last week, it was just too overwhelming. I am now confident to go back and do more searching!” Pat and I are still in contact with a nurse, the coordinator of this presentation, to possibly present additional sessions about searching and PubMed via telecommunication to other audiences, including physicians and other nurses who were not able to attend this presentation.

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