Dreams. Made Real.
Clayton State Nursing Students have Life-Changing Experiences in Haiti
Clayton State University has many Study Abroad programs, but few, can match the School of Nursing’s annual trip to the island of La Gonave, Haiti, as a meaningful experience for the students, faculty, and the individuals and organizations they serve.
Most recently, Clayton State Nursing faculty members Dr. Charlotte Swint and Dr. Jennell Charles led eight RN-BSN nursing students to La Gonave in May 2015, “to provide support to health initiatives at the 30-bed Wesleyan Hospital, the Bill Rice Clinic, and through mobile maternal outreach clinics in remote mountain villages,” explains Swint. “It was only a week out of our lives, but a lifetime impact.”
Indeed, the impact on both the residents of one of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nations and the Clayton State students was profound. The student nurses who participate in this program talk about their experiences in life-changing terms…
“It’s been wonderful to see that caring knows no geographic boundaries. This trip has offered opportunities to grow as nurses and human beings. There is still much to be done in this country, yet every effort and `little thing’ our group has done has been met with incredible smiles and graciousness from the Haitian people.” Pam Haron
“My experience in Haiti was a life changer. It has opened up my eyes. Even though it was hot, and the poverty is very visible almost everywhere, going around and speaking to the people and doing education was a joy. Just to see how appreciative they were for having a simple sonogram and them seeing their babies and knowing what the sex was – it was a delight to see their reaction.” Tsahai Allen
“From delivering babies, playing with children in the village, and teaching the nursing students, there will never be a day I don’t think about my time here in La Gonave!” Trisha Roberts
“I am grateful for the spirit and compassion of the students who travelled with us,” says Charles. “Over and over again, the Haitian nurses and doctors remarked how sensitive, knowledgeable, and compassionate our students were.
“Because these students are already nurses with an associate’s degree, they were able to serve as healthcare providers,” adds Swint. “We worked with first year nursing students from Haiti, doctors from Haiti and the U.S., nurses from the U.S., and social workers from the U.S., to care for patients in the new hospital, the hospital clinic, the Bill Rice Clinic, and mobile clinics in Trujacques for school children and Ticolette for pregnant women.”
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