Students provide 11 days of healthcare to the residents of villages in India
Eight Denver College of Nursing (DCN) students and two DCN faculty members provided healthcare and education to hundreds of Indians during their eleven-day trip to Hyderabad and Bengaluru, India.
The school’s Global Health Perspectives program (GHP) partnered with International Medical Relief (http://www.internationalmedicalrelief.org/), a non-profit organization working to provide access to health care in underserved and vulnerable communities around the world to create, sustain, and enhance global community health status. Fellow IMR teammates hosted the nursing students and faculty, staying with them in various apartments and hotels throughout the trip.
The students hosted clinics, traveling by bus and train to various villages in India and providing care to over 250 people each day. At each clinic, adults and children lined up to receive healthcare, a rare amenity for most villagers. DCN student Anne Marshall recalls, “When we stepped off the bus each morning, we were met by the villagers with flowers, parades, love, and appreciation.” Students and faculty were welcomed and blessed in temples and adorned with tikka marks on their foreheads. “We were constantly thanked, well more than what we expected for what we gave. The Indian people’s appreciation for our help, for life, nature, and God, were always apparent”, says Diane Ream, RN, faculty member. During the daily drive to and from the clinics, students took in the scenery of beautiful temples, camels pulling wagons, and children playing beside the streets. Students were able to appreciate the beautiful countryside of India, as well as some of its largest cities.
At the daily clinics, students provided community education, focusing on health topics such as hygiene, CPR, and hydration. Adults and children were triaged to receive either well care or medical care. The villagers received vision and dental exams, as well. Many villagers were given reading glasses and all the villagers treasured receiving a toothbrush and soap. Faculty member Diane Ream recalls the people seen “whose lives would be so much better if they simply had access to clean drinking water, basic hygiene items, basic health care, trash removal, education, and more food.”
Clinic sites were selected to provide health and wellness services to those areas of greatest need. Medical conditions the team encountered included cases of leprosy, scabies, post-operative complications, pregnancy complications, joint pain, and Ludwig’s Angina. Students provided nursing care, including dressing wounds, placing intravenous access, and administering antibiotic injections, respiratory treatments, and analgesic medications.
DCN students Anne Marshall, Dori Shiovitz, Cecily Fuller, Maggie O’Keefe, Susan Mclanathan, Colleen Jacobs, Leela Jennings, and Jennifer Morgan were accompanied by Diane Ream, RN, and Tara Haskell, RN.