Meet the Nurse: Marcos Soliz Gonzales
NPH Bolivia’s full-time on-site nurse brings both compassion and expertise to his medical practice.
April 9, 2019 - Bolivia
Growing up, Marcos was always interested in studying health and medicine and decided to put that passion towards a career in nursing. His first job out of school was in a hospital working with emergencies. He was drawn to high-pressure situations, but the stress of the job quickly wore him down. While working, Marcos saw an advertisement for a nursing position at NPH Bolivia and decided that a change of pace was best for his health.
Since he lived just 30 minutes away from the NPH community, he negotiated a three-month trial period to see if this position was a good fit. Flash forward to 2019 where Marcos is happily celebrating his fifth work anniversary.
In five years living full time at the home, Marcos has evolved beyond his nursing role. “I’m not just their nurse, but their friend, their confidant, a teammate, and a caregiver,” he said. “It’s like being a family doctor; I get to see the kids grow up.” In five years’ time, he has been able to see young kids with severe disabilities and problems make drastic improvements.
Over the years, he has developed a comprehensive routine, which involves a combination of practical work and education. He starts by either cleaning and organizing his office or taking children to the local town for hospital services. In the afternoon, his clinic is open to everyone on a first come, first served basis for any illness or injury. After dinner, Marcos puts on educational workshops where he teaches kids about best health practices.
While work at the home can be both demanding and exhausting, there are many reasons why Marcos has chosen to stay. One example he shared was about a boy named Steven who left the home at 16 years old during Marcos’ first year. A couple of weeks later, the boy returned to the home because he had tuberculosis, no money, and nowhere else to go. Marcos quickly took the child to the hospital and stayed with him for four straight nights.
Once Steven was able to come back to NPH, he lived in the clinic for a month where Marcos stayed with him every day and night. “He was very frail and weak and someone needed to be with him,” Marcos said. “His medicine was very specific and I needed to be very careful to give him the correct dosage.”
Due to his treatment course and a high risk of relapse, Steven was unable to interact with other kids for these 30 days of isolation. Because of that Marcos spent entire days with him and took him on walks to get outside and cheer him up.
After one month in the clinic, the boy was finally able to live with the other kids, but needed to take medicine for six more months until he was fully cured. Though the experience was difficult, Marcos finally understood what NPH stood for, saying, “There is always family here.”
Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.