During our Medical Mission Trip, most of the clinics we work in are tight quarters with no electricity, which means that students have to rely heavily on their nursing knowledge, critical thinking and assessment skills.
Why did I choose to enter the field of nursing? The short answer would be that I watched a few too many episodes of the television series "ER," coupled with a lifelong desire to save the world. The long answer is that nursing offered me a wide range of challenging opportunities that allowed me to help others. The role of a nurse is multifaceted. You're a caregiver, a confidant, a decision maker, an advocate, a hand to hold, an educator and so much more.
My specialty is pediatrics. As a nurse I worked with the Oncology/Hematology unit and ER at Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo. There I had the opportunity to work with some amazing nurses and physicians. There I was inspired to continue my education and became a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, later earning a doctorate in health education. I joined the DYC faculty in 2006.
Several years ago, an undergraduate student in one of my classes asked me to join a medical relief trip to the Dominican Republic, organized by her church. They were in need of pediatric medical providers. It took me all of three seconds to say yes. This was my dream from the beginning, and that's how it all began.
With the support of the dean of School of Nursing, Dr. Lewis, I helped establish an annual medical/nursing mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Our first year was 2012; we had eight nursing students participate. We spent a week in early January traveling to rural villages on the island, setting up and running mobile medical clinics.
On these trips students are actively engaged in the assessment, education and treatment of patients with varying needs. Most of the clinics are tight quarters with no electricity, which means that students have to rely heavily on their nursing knowledge, critical thinking and assessment skills. They learn the value of a smile, of a touch, of knowing cultural differences and embracing them. They become able to see how much a nurse can do with no technology and few supplies.
I am collaborating with the DYC School of Pharmacy to establish an interdisciplinary trip to Haiti to provide medical relief efforts and educational opportunities.
DYC is full of individuals who dream big and aren't afraid to chase those dreams!TOP