Last year we established an annual D'Youville Nursing Medical Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic.
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.
Last year, with the support of the dean of School of Nursing, Dr. Lewis, we were able to establish an annual DYC Nursing Medical Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic. In January 2012, eight students joined a colleague and I on the medical mission. We spent a week traveling to rural villages, setting up and running mobile medical clinics. Students were actively engaged in the assessment, education and treatment of patients with varying needs. Most of the clinics were tight quarters with no electricity, which meant that students had to rely heavily on their nursing knowledge, critical thinking and assessment skills. They learned the value of a smile, a touch, of knowing cultural differences and embracing them. They were able to see how much a nurse can do with no technology and few supplies.
Currently I am planning my fifth medical relief trip. I am partnering 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