In January 2017, nine FHU nursing students and two nursing faculty members traveled to Thomazeau, Haiti, for seven days to serve on a medical mission team with LiveBeyond.
Prior to the trip, the students spent months preparing a teaching project; learning about the Haitian culture, and third-world medicine; getting to know team members and obtaining passport and necessary vaccinations and medications for trip. While in Haiti, the students were introduced to poverty beyond anything they could have imagined. Through this poverty, the students were able to be the hands and feet of Jesus as they healed physical ailments and shared the story of the “Great Physician.” Students spent their mornings in a fast-paced medical clinic and their afternoons making house calls to those unable to come to the clinic.
Students were, most importantly, to learn these things:
Students were able to use the skills they learned in the previous semester including physical assessment, pharmacology, therapeutic communication, diagnostic reasoning, critical thinking and documentation to care for the Haitian people.
FACULTY: How did you see your students grow or change?
I saw the students gain confidence in their nursing skills and their ability to think critically through each medical scenario. I also saw my students grow in their spiritual walk with God as they were faced with a country stricken with open satanic worship and practices.
STUDENT: How did participating in the project benefit you?
Rebecca Neel: “Going to Haiti benefitted me in so many ways. I never imagined I would learn more in a third world country than I have at an American university about what it means to be a nurse. I learned how to minister to my patients’ physical needs, but more importantly, how to minister to their spiritual needs. Working in the LiveBeyond clinic allowed me to practice assessment techniques and to gain experience communicating with my patients. I also had the opportunity to hear several lectures from Dr. David Vanderpool regarding third-world problems such as clean water, HIV, and maternal mortality rates. Going to Haiti has made me a more compassionate person, and I will carry that quality into my nursing practice.
Meredith Goodman: “The trip to Haiti impacted me in ways I was not expecting. LiveBeyond is an awesome program that is truly empowering the people of Haiti. I was humbled by the citizens of Haiti and their living conditions; however, I learned so much about faith, love and service through the staff of LiveBeyond. I also learned so much from Mrs. Linda Hodges and Dr. Sarah Pierce. They showed us firsthand how to interact with patients and care for them. I feel more confident going into a clinical setting and interacting with patients because of this trip. I also feel more confident in how to assess patients and develop treatment plans for them. Most importantly, this trip made me grow closer to God and opened my eyes to ways I can bring more people to Him.”