Three groups of UofSCNursing students and faculty recently traveled across the globe for study abroad and mission trips. In March, a group of students and faculty went to Nicaragua for a medical mission trip to provide services to underprivileged communities, and in May, two study abroad groups visited the Netherlands and Germany to experience health care on a global scale.
Nursing faculty Joan Creed and Kate Chappell along with NP students Margaret Darr and Maureen Nwajaiku traveled to the Netherlands as part of a partnership between InHolland University in Amsterdam and the Alpha Xi chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. “A group from the Netherlands has come to South Carolina for 11 years and this trip started what we hope will be an annual one to the Netherlands and InHolland University,” Creed said.
Over the six-day trip, the students and faculty studied the health care system of the region by visiting several hospitals and their departments, including emergency, palliative, pediatrics, OB and birth places and general practitioner clinics. They also had the chance to visit the Kuekenhof Gardens, Rijksmuseum, the van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House.
Seven students led by faculty members Dr. Deborah McQuilkin and Dr. Kelley Wilson visited Nürnberg, Germany, to study transcultural nursing, ethics and the German health care system. They engaged with patients in a palliative care Alzheimer’s end of life residence, visited a world class pediatric rheumatism pain clinic in Garmish, shadowed nurses in a 2,000-bed hospital and had lectures by a health care ethicist and on the German Bismark health system. They also visited Dachau, the courtroom of the Nuremburg trials.
The trip was in partnership with Evangelische Hochschule Nürnberg, one of the first universities to build a bachelor’s degree to further educate nurses. The German partners will visit South Carolina in September.
The College of Nursing partnered with OneWorld Health for a spring break mission trip to Nicaragua for the second year. OneWorld Health creates sustainable medical centers that offer low-cost services to communities with limited access to services. Seven BSN students, three NP students and faculty member Dr. Karen Worthy were part of 42 volunteers on the trip including nurses, providers, pharmacists, ultrasound MD and many non-clinicians.
The BSN students managed the triage team for the week: for each patient, they obtained vital signs, prioritized patients, assessed acuity, and managed all labs. Nurse practitioner students provided primary health care services to the patients. NPs took health histories and provided focused physical examinations, diagnosed and treated many common acute and chronic problems, interpreted laboratory results and ultrasounds, prescribed medications, provided health teaching and counseling, and made referrals to support healthy lifestyle behaviors and prevent illness. The entire volunteer team serviced over 1,100 underprivileged patients over five days.