TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program Holds First Alumni Reunion Online
On August 23, 2020, a reunion was held online for the TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program, with 15 participants, including first through fifth year program alumni, joining the event. The online reunion made it possible for alumni from different program years to interact with one another. After sharing their updates, the alumni discussed their current situations and futures in small groups, reflecting on the impact of the program.
Some alumni expressed interest in the state of medical care and impact of COVID-19 in the United States, where they visited as a part of the program. They commented “I wonder if the underprivileged are receiving proper medical care under this pandemic,” and “I would like to know how children’s hospitals are dealing with the current situation.”
Other alumni shared the impact of the program on themselves and their goals in the future. “I had wanted to be a nurse before the program, but participating in this program made me want even more to be a nurse who has knowledge about and can deal with disasters. I also improved my communication skills through the program,” and “Practicing disaster drills in the medical field, I often feel the gap in the sense of ownership between people who have experienced a disaster and those who have not. I’d like to raise awareness and prepare for disasters” are some of the thoughts shared by the participants.
One participant said, “Many people helped me during the program and I was impressed with the high level of specialty and professionalism that individuals had in the U.S. Right now, I work in a team of about 100 people and I believe that nurses are in the position where they can reach out to people in different positions with different professions. Everyone in the field is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for the first time, and we work with rules and procedures that change every second. If I didn’t participate in the program, I would have felt less involvement in the matter and I wouldn’t have tried to work as actively as I do now. I hope that connections between people with their own specialties will be strengthened in the future, and would like to contribute to the world by doing what I can do best.”
The first reunion of the program was a great success, with active discussions and interactions. We hope that alumni will continue to make the best use of the network and utilize their program experience to achieve success in their own fields.