Castleton State nursing students trip to Honduras
CASTLETON, Vt. -Some Castleton State College nursing students are heading overseas to use their skills to help those in need.
Kylah Livingston says she dreamed of being a nurse since she was young, and her grandmother was sick. “I saw the nurses taking care of her and I decided that’s something that I wanted to be able to do.”
Now she is a registered nurse working on her bachelor’s degree at Castleton State College. Livingston is working on preparing for a trip to Honduras with twelve of her classmates.
“Having a nursing license is such a privilege and we have an opportunity every day to make a difference in people’s lives,” says Livingston. “I really wanted to take the opportunity and do something more with it than just here in the United States.”
The students will join a group of 46 total students with the NYVT Nurses Unite Medical Brigade to work as volunteer nurses in struggling communities. They will set up clinics and assist with pharmaceutical, dental, and OB healthcare. Amy Russell is president of NYVT Nurses and has been on the trip three times before and says the community is always grateful.
“They ask if we are going to come back. In fact I’m hoping to go back to the same community so I can follow up with some of the volunteers who were there,” says nurse Margaret Young.
Young says Honduras is in desperate need of more help and the nursing students learn valuable lessons themselves.
“They learn about global health and the need and global awareness. I mean I think people’s eyes are open to the need throughout the world,” says Young.
However the goal isn’t just to help for the week, but to teach those in need lessons to keep them healthy for life. Students will be teaching families and children important lessons for sustainable health that they will keep with them, like proper hand washing.
Livingston’s classmates say that helping others is what going into this career is really all about.
“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity to be able to provide basic nursing care that we take for granted over here,” says RN Joshua Levandowski.
“It’s truly amazing, at the end of the day when I leave work, I just have a smile on my face and I love what I do,” says Livingston.
The students will leave in March. They say they still need to raise more money and need more medical supplies.
Raising funds for drugs, supplies in time for July journey
Thirty Memorial University students hope to set up a temporary health clinic in a Central American country next summer.
“I’ve always really wanted to go somewhere else and see what it’s like there from a health perspective,” said Chapman. “Since I am in nursing, it would help me see what else is out there, and I hope that in the future I can do something with global health.”
The MUN group includes students from multiple health-related faculties at the university.
Users of the clinic would first enter triage and be asked general questions about their health, after which they would see a doctor for a checkup. They will receive medications on the spot. Chapman said there will hopefully be enough medication available to supply patients for at least a year.
A goal has been set to raise $20,000 for the purchase of drugs and medical supplies. Chapman said the group also hopes to obtain some of these goods by donation. Group members must also individually raise $2,000 to cover accommodations and travel costs.
The students hope to be accompanied by a local physician and dentist for the nine-day trip. Thus far, the group has not been successful in finding either. If it does not find a doctor or dentist, Chapman said, it would have the option of hiring a doctor and dentist in Honduras to work with them in the clinic.
According to Chapman, the group has not settled on where specifically in Honduras it will set up the community clinic.
Thus far, MUN Global Brigades has held bake sales on campus and collected some donations. It plans to hold a raffle and some fundraising events in the new year.