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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Students return to Nicaragua with Global Health Initiative

The Global Health Initiative of the Connell School of Nursing made its second service-learning trip to Nicaragua February 29 to March 9 during spring break. Ronna Krozy and Joyce Pulcini, Connell School faculty, led the trip along with Kathy Lee from the romance languages department.

The Global Health Initiative of the Connell School of Nursing made its second service-learning trip to Nicaragua February 29 to March 9 during spring break. Ronna Krozy and Joyce Pulcini, Connell School faculty, led the trip along with Kathy Lee from the romance languages department. This year’s trip was partially funded by the Countess Moira Foundation. Two graduate family nurse practitioner student participants, Sarah Eichenberger and Nicole Neibaur, attended to patients in the clinic. Undergraduate students Alexandra Brinkert, Meghan Crann, Rachel Heron, Nora Sheehan, Courtney Smith, and Jennifer Taylor did intake histories and assessments and assisted in dispensing and teaching patients about medications. All students participated in a very successful teaching opportunity on Friday, March 7 conducted entirely in Spanish to more than 50 attendees about diabetes, rehydration therapy, skin diseases and salmonella infection.

Each morning students provided nursing services at the Nueva Vida clinic in Ciudad Sandino, a part of Managua, Nicaragua, where many families live without water, sanitation, electricity, or employment. The clinic serves 11,000 and fifty percent of these are children. Each afternoon students visited healthcare or community sites that expanded their knowledge of the health, socioeconomic and political conditions in Nicaragua. These visits included clinics for women who have been victims of violence, HIV and other conditions; a sewing cooperative that is owned and run by women; and a social service agency that serves people who live and work in La Chureca, the Managua Dump. They also talked with the former minister of Health, Maritza Cuan and with Maria Zuñiga, founder of CISAS and a member of the Peoples Health Network.
Students attended Mass at Batahola, a community center in Managua along with the Pedro Arrupe group from Boston College who was also there on spring break.

Students noted that this was a moving and life-changing event for all who took part in this initiative. Their understanding of extreme poverty was enhanced and the opportunity to provide direct nursing care for people who are very poor touched each and every one of the participants.