Nursing Students Complete Final Rotation in Peru
While the rest of Fisher’s students were packing to go home for Thanksgiving Break, nine nursing students were packing for a trip to Peru, where they would complete the final clinical rotation of their undergraduate career.
Dr. Natalie Masco, Assistant Professor in the Wegmans School of Nursing, and Adjunct Professor Keri Baker accompanied Charnelle Lewis, Jeff Cowden, Stephanie Richards, Emily Werner, Michelle Sondericker, Katelynn Sheridan, Kelsey Pearl, Molly Emblidge, and Charlotte Fuller to Ollantatambo, Peru for the 18-day clinical capstone experience. Masco said the trip was full of cultural immersion as the students were placed with host families and had the opportunity to experience day-to-day life in Peru from the food and family roles to the cold showers. They also took part in a session on culture that addressed the challenges of working in a developing country.
For Charnelle Lewis, Buffalo native who graduates this December, it was the first time she has traveled abroad and said she would definitely recommend this trip to other students. She had wanted to do a global preceptorship because she wanted to experience a different culture and see how healthcare norms differed from the United States.
While the group was there, they conducted health screenings in four primary schools where they educated students on proper nutrition, handwashing, and toothbrushing, and also completed head-to-toe assessments to gauge the students’ overall health. They also conducted health assessments and one-on-one’s for students ages 18-25 in a college dormitory in Casa de Mosqoy. During the trip, they saw over 150 patients. In addition, the group toured a local healthcare facility to better appreciate the levels of healthcare in Peru, and the difference in resources based on what people can afford.
Lewis recalled the long hike to one of the schools they visited, a hike they had to make with their supplies in tow. She came down with a bad cold during the trip, so the hike was a little bit harder for her. But as she was starting to complain, she thought of the people who live in those high altitude communities who make the trek on a daily basis. It made her realize that the people in those communities don’t have a lack of knowledge about their health, what they lack is proper access to facilities.
“Being in Peru helps you put your life in perspective and makes you realize how fortunate you are. The children there were so happy, they were so content with what little they had. I was able to truly utilize my nursing assessment skills and learn how to work with virtually nothing. The nursing program at Fisher definitely prepared me to think critically and provide expert nursing care – even in another country,” said Lewis.
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