News, Events & GHP

Four Denver College of Nursing Students travel to provide medical services in Peru

Thursday, January 10, 2019 7:00 PM

Denver College of Nursing (DCN) students and one DCN faculty member traveled to Peru over the most recent break to provide healthcare and education to several<br /> communities. Sue Hammerton led students Carla Garcia, Janae Hixson, Michelle Nguyen, and Taylor Rockaway on a seven-day trip to Huancayo, Aco, Uñas and<br /> other neighboring communities.<br /> <br /> The school’s Global Health Perspectives program (GHP) partnered with the Foundation of International Medical Relief for Children (FIMRC), a non-proOit organization committed to bringing improved healthcare to communities in the developing world. FIMRC has roots in the area and provides services, education, and support aimed to serve the greatest needs of the communities. They also empower local individuals who have participated, and beneOit from previous projects to reach out from inside their own community to recruit others who may also beneOit from services. Members from prior groups also become leaders for the future to ensure program sustainability.<br /> <br /> The students assisted with anemia screening, baby showers, growth charting, blood glucose screening, blood pressure education, and rapid syphilis and HIV testing. Students, and faculty sponsor Sue Hammerton, also provided valuable education concerning partner violence as well as mother-baby bonding and postpartum care. DCN students demonstrated positive interactions with the new babies and educated new mothers who are breastfeeding about techniques, nutrition and when to bring their children to the clinic. In conjunction with rapid HIV and syphilis testing, there was also education regarding the prevention of pregnancy, and disease transmission. In addition to serving the needs of the local communities, the students had rotations in a local operating room, a suture clinic, and attended educational sessions regarding traditional Peruvian medicine.<br /> <br /> Students describe the trip as an "incredible learning experience. For the first time I felt like I had valuable experience. I was able to interact with the children without being so caught up in the steps of the procedure that I was doing" (Carla Garcia). Michelle Nguyen observed the importance of learning the local culture and healthcare systems in order to provide the best care. Janae Hixson appreciated "working side by side with people that were passionate about helping others". These volunteer hours accumulated on these trips can suffice for certain clinical credits, but the experience may be one of even greater depth of learning and understanding.<br /> <br /> Denver College of Nursing’s Global Health Perspectives program focuses on student development in global health settings around the world by combining classroom training with in-Oield service learning internships. GHP partners with nonproOits to promote its mission of healthcare education and sustainability in challenging national and international environments.