A group of Nursing students and faculty from the University of Louisiana at Monroe gave up four days of their summer vacation to lend medical assistance to those in need in the Dominican Republic. Dr. Rhonda Hensley, associate director of the ULM Graduate Nursing Program, and Emily Webre, senior ULM nursing student, attended the trip and stopped by KEDM to share some of their experiences.
The group received contributions from the community from donations and fundraisers, and were able to take $10,000 worth of medical supplies with them. Each student had to raise $1,700 to cover personal expenses for the trip, which included travel fees, room and board, and food.
The patients were mainly people who had worked in the fields their entire lives with little to no access to medical attention. Nearly 1,000 patients were treated during the trip.
Hensley stated that "learning flexibility, being able to work in adverse situations," and being able to adapt quickly were some of the most important takeaways for these students.
Webre felt that the connections made were one of the biggest takeaways for her. Although there was a language barrier, their patients exuded gratitude for the group. "We might not have spoken the same language, but we felt the same heartbeat."