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College of Nursing

  • students with patient on medical trip

Students Travel to Guatemala for Medical Mission

Global nursing opportunities impact student practice

Twelve nursing students forwent the spring break beaches of Florida to join a medical mission trip in Guatemala. Over the six-day trip to the coastal town of Panajachel, the group had opportunities to immerse in a new culture while learning and practicing their scope of skills. Junior nursing major and group leader, Avery Cambria, shared, “as a group, we bonded over the experience. Each day we saw something new and were able to learn together.”  

The College of Nursing encourages students to participate in study abroad and medical trips to broaden their cultural competencies and work with real-life patients. “Abroad opportunities allow students to navigate new challenges, gain and experience different cultural perspectives, enlarge their world view, and make international connections and relationships that may last a lifetime,” says Joan Creed, Coordinator of Global Nursing Education. 

New Opportunities:  

Kailey Carr: I went on this trip to gain hands-on nursing experience and experience a brand-new culture. As a freshman, I’ve only experienced the world of nursing through PowerPoint presentations and textbooks; this trip allowed me to learn with my peers and alongside healthcare professionals. 

Sydney Madonna: I was able to perform head-to-toe assessments on patients, take vitals, ask health history questions and help to diagnose the patient. Once we saw the patients and gathered sufficient information about their principal problem, we presented the case to the doctor. 

Aubrey Hetland: I was able to utilize my Spanish skills to communicate with patients.  I interviewed and assessed the patient, came up with a diagnosis and treatment plan, and then presented it to one of our doctors.

Powerful Impacts:  

Chloe Franklin: The whole trip was very memorable, but one little girl stood out to me. She came in with both her parents and was super shy, but she eventually came over and started to warm up to me. We drew pictures, and she gave us matching stickers. Even though we spoke two different languages, it was amazing to see her get comfortable with me and reaffirm that I want to be a pediatric nurse. 

Hannah Lutz: The trip has shown me the importance of keeping an open mind and the importance of communication. I learned so much from my patients about resilience. The medical professionals on the trip pushed me to continue learning and apply my current knowledge to my assessment and treatment of patients. I will carry these lessons forward in my future practice as a nurse to better care for each patient that I encounter.  

Avery Cambria: I know nursing is exactly what I need to be doing and what I want to be doing in life with my career choices, and I know that this will most definitely not be my last medical mission trip.  

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