By Danielle Dimacali
Photo by Manmit Singh
The most important thing when traveling to a foreign country is having an open mind and open heart to new experiences and ways of life.
These alternative breaks are extremely valuable for students to see how health infrastructure operates in a country with less resources. However, we must ponder: is it worse? is it better? The short answer is neither. We realize everything is relative.
It’s been a true privilege to be able to see and compare hospitals, clinics, and home visits in the Dominican Republic. It’s been incredibly meaningful to see how c-sections, pediatric emergency visits, canguru care for premature babies, and wound care happens here.
From people pouring sugar on pressure ulcers, hospitals autoclaving their own materials, to carrying a baby in arms from the OR to the NICU, we saw that things operated here differently yet worked for them. Furthermore, we realized that simply being there and continuously showing up and being present for a family is integral in the art of nursing.
After presenting with some basic essentials, we were returned with a beautiful prayer and song. On the other hand, nursing is also research driven. Through partnering with local nursing students here in the Dominican Republic, we equip and empower them with tools to help transform their community through a resilience model. However, it is crystal clear to us that there is already so much resilience embedded into the hearts and communities of the Dominican Republic.