Jenelle Quenneville, Accelerated BSN student A young mother came into the clinic with her five children for treatment. There was a 10 year-old boy, a 9 year-old girl, a 7 year-old boy, 4 year-old boy and 2 year-old girl. The 4 year-old boy was her nephew whom she had adopted four weeks prior because her sister had passed away. All of the children had worms, Tinea capitis, and various infections that needed treatment. The oldest child was unable to walk due to what appeared to be nerve damage that resulted from an exacerbation of malaria years prior. This family was extremely impoverished; you could see the pain in their faces from hunger, sickness, and loss. The mother expressed exhaustion from working in the fields and caring for five children on her own. I share this experience because I was honored to be able to provide care for this family. The child that was carried into the clinic left with new shoes, walking canes and muscle strengthening exercises. The other children were provided with individually bagged medications that included specific written instructions for the mom. We spent over an hour with this family and provided shoes for three of them. I left grateful that we were able to provide for this family and give hope to this mother and her children.
Sarah Didow, Accelerated BSN student Itâ€™s easy to get lost in the modern conveniences and comforts of the life that most of us enjoy today. When I first heard about the opportunity to travel to and volunteer in Uganda, I knew immediately it was exactly the experience that I had been looking for that would allow me to submerge myself in a different culture and provide some personal direction and insight. What I found was so much more. I discovered first hand what it truly meant to work as an interprofessional team and the rewards and accomplishments that can result when doing so. I learned the true meaning of human compassion and community, and renewed my appreciation of and respect for the human body. My advice to others interested in going on this trip is
to expect the unexpected. This trip is likely to make you both laugh and cry. You will work hard and long on both emotional and physical levels, but at the end of the day you will be able to go to bed with a sense of purpose and fulfillment unlike anything you have felt before. It is the most challenging and rewarding experience that will stay with you forever. Expect to be changed, and open your mind and heart to the amazing culture that is Uganda. And in the perfect irony that is life, just know that the service and love that you provide to the Ugandans will only be a fraction of what you will receive in return.
Ashleigh M. Benda, DNP student I wanted to experience how medicine in other countries compares to the U.S. I am now extremely appreciative of the abundance of medical gloves and not having the need to sleep in a mosquito net! I have realized that the little things do matter the most. Taking time to talk to your patient, fun band aids for kids, and a pat on the back can change the entire course and outcome of patient care. It is an experience that everyone should have and I want to go frequently to keep my basic nursing skills sharp and maintain my passion for the sick. On this trip, one experience that stands out for me is an older woman, who presented with what she claimed to be a rash on her right arm. After examination, she had third degree burns or a very severe case of cellulitis. Her skin was peeling, there were blisters between her fingers and her radial pulse was non-palpable. In the U.S., she would have been placed on a stretcher and wheeled into the operating room immediately. The most help we could provide for her was clean water irrigation, elevation and zinc cream. It was very difficulty to inform her she was probably going to lose her arm. Despite the terrible news, she was incredibly grateful for the clean water and pain injection we were able to give her.
Spring | summer 2012
Published on May 2, 2012