Archive for Moultrie

Final Days in Moultrie

Packing up our “clinic” in the elementary school gym!

Setting up our last night camp (with no rain in sight!)

My time working in Moultrie, Georgia has officially come to an end and I’ve now had some time to reflect back on my experience. I had such an incredible and rewarding time and am so thankful I got to be a part of it. Our last night at a camp working with the men finally gave us some perfect weather; we didn’t get rained out and it hadn’t rained earlier in the day so there was no mud to slosh through either. We got to see and help every person that wanted to be seen which doesn’t always happen because of timing or weather, so we were all very happy to end on a positive note.The next morning we went back to the elementary school one last time to finish all of the charts for the kids we’ve seen and to pack up all of the supplies. We all met in the gym at the very end to wrap everything up and to take one last group picture before we left. We all talked about how much we’ve grown from this experience. I became more confident in my own skills, working in a constantly changing environment with multiple different disciplines around me.

Nursing students on a farm tour picking their own vegetables!

I met so many amazing people over the past two weeks. I grew so close with the other nursing students in my program and am so thankful to them for always working so hard and keeping such a positive attitude the entire time (even when I was driving them through some muddy, bumpy, dirt roads on the way to the camps). All of the other nurse practitioner students, pharmacy students, physical therapy students, and dental hygiene students were so incredible to work with and learn from; it was such a unique and rewarding experience to be able to work in such an interdisciplinary setting. The amazing faculty (special shoutout to our fearless leaders Dr. Wold and Dr. Ferranti) were so incredibly helpful and great to learn from; they were all so patient with us but treated us with such respect, allowing us to work independently and grow so much confidence in our nursing practice. None of our work at night could have been possible without our translators that volunteered their time to stay in rainy, bug-filled fields with us until after midnight just to make sure that we could help these men to the best of our abilities. I also wanted to thank all of the local churches that hosted us every single day for lunch and were so kind and inviting. Finally I want to thank the farmworkers for welcoming us into their lives and allowing us to provide medical care. These men work tirelessly all day in such tough conditions for little pay to bring us the affordable fruits and vegetables we eat every day.

Our nursing crew enjoying our last lunch at one of the local churches!

If any current or future nursing students are reading this, I so highly recommend doing the Farmworker Family Health Program and Rural Health course. I have learned so much throughout this program and could not imagine my nursing school experience without these past few weeks!

Day 7 and 8 at Moultrie – Going with the Flow

A nursing student checking the hearing of an elementary school student

It’s nearing the end of the last week of our Farmworker Family Health Program trip in Moultrie and I can’t believe my time here is almost done. Every one here has gotten so much into their routine that the days almost seem to meld together, flowing from one task to another. In the past few mornings at the elementary school, we have been seeing the last few kids that needed to go through the stations as well as a few kids that needed to be re-screened if they didn’t pass certain tests or assessments. Wednesday morning I was doing vision screenings with another BSN student and we were testing a boy in the second grade. As we were having him read the shapes in the chart we noticed he could barely make it past the first few lines of shapes and was squinting and leaning forward; after the full assessment it was very obvious he had vision problems and would get a referral to a clinic where he would likely be getting glasses. He was right at the age where having difficulty seeing would make it more difficult for him to learn and pay attention in class and ultimately affect his overall education, but because we were able to catch this problem early, his vision will be able to be corrected. A lot of times doing so many of these screenings for hearing, vision, blood pressure, and blood glucose can seem repetitive, especially if a majority of the kids are healthy, and I sometimes lose sight of the fact that these tests can catch major problems early on for these children.

A view from the camp we worked at Wednesday night

BSN Student, Molly Murphy, providing foot care to one of the farmworkers while two Nurse Practitioner students help assess

On Tuesday night we went to the same camp as Monday night, but this time we were prepared: we knew it was going to be raining again that night so we set up everything inside the screened in building so we didn’t have the delay of relocating all of our supplies and tables inside. It was a small, compact space we were working in but everyone stayed focus and we were able to move around each other without any major collisions. On Wednesday night we were at a new camp that was slightly smaller than the previous two nights so the pace was slow going at first. This came as no surprise to us, but it of course began raining around 30 minutes into seeing the men through the stations. This camp had no coverings to go under, but luckily there was no lightening so we knew we could stay and find a way to continue working. Some of us braved it in the rain with ponchos and umbrellas and others were set up in some collapsable tents where we tried to keep as many people dry as possible. Everything out at these camps is an unexpected adventure and this night was no different.

BSN Student, Jenny Choe, providing education on high blood sugar management with the help of a translator

When we are working with the men, we have amazing translators that are with us at each station as well as with each dental hygiene student, pharmacy student, and the student nurse practitioners as they complete their physicals. However, there aren’t always enough translators to be at every spot we want them so they often have to get relocated where they are most needed at the time, which is what happened to me when I was working at the blood glucose and hemoglobin station when our translator was needed at another location. At first I was worried to be without a translator to help explain to the patient what I was going to be doing and how to explain and educate them on their results, but as I have talked about previously, this group of people here is always so willing to help anyone.We almost immediately had one of the pharmacist students come over to us and offer help translating what she could as we had other nursing students go ask others for some key Spanish phrases to tell and ask the men. Even in times of chaos everyone here is able to pull together and make sure we accomplish the goals we came out here to do. We are seeing one final group of men at a camp tonight and then finishing charting and packing up at the elementary school in the morning. As I write this we have less than 24 hours left on this trip and I hope to enjoy every minute and help everyone I can!

 

 

Day 4 at Moultrie – Blood, Sweat & (no) Tears

The farmworker camp we worked at and set up our stations

Last night a little after 6:30pm we arrived at a new farm, covered head-to-toe in bug spray and ready to tackle whatever the night threw at us. Thankfully there was no rain on the radar for the night, but this camp definitely brought some new challenges and surprises; there were no coverings at the camp so we were outside with the grass coming up to our knees. Even though we were at a new location, the set up went smoothly since we have settled well into all of our roles throughout the different disciplines. I was placed at the blood glucose and hemoglobin stations where we were doing finger sticks on the men that came through. Doing the finger sticks on the farmworkers can sometimes be challenging because their fingers are often very callused making it harder to draw blood for both machines. We’ve all learned techniques from each other to make the process easy for us and the men so we don’t have to stick them again. Sometimes we have to squeeze and massage down their hands (a process some nurses have termed “milking” the arm) and holding their hands down at their side to let gravity help the blood flow. The men were able to go around and see all of the nursing stations, the nurse practitioners, physical therapy, and dental hygiene throughout the night and get the help and referrals they needed.

 

One of the nursing students getting a good stretch from a physical therapy student during a break!

This morning we went back to Cox Elementary School to continue our care and screening for the kids. Another one of the nursing students and I went upstairs and got ready at our station that was testing height, weight, and BMI. Working with the children at the station was pretty simple, all we had to do was weigh them and measure their height but it required a lot of charting so, like yesterday during the vision screening, we took a lot of turns charting and keeping the kids entertained who were waiting. In our room we were testing in we also had a physician from Guatemala who was sitting with the kids waiting teaching them about Zika virus. She used coloring books and pictures to explain to them what the virus is and how they can help prevent it for themselves and others. The Zika virus is becoming an increasingly difficult problem, especially here in rural South Georgia during the summer months, so teaching these kids from a young age is very crucial. Our hotel we are staying at is also very kindly serving all of us dinner tonight before we head out to our last night at a farmworker camp for the week. We head home for the weekend tomorrow afternoon but we’ll be back Sunday night to start our second week of service here!

Day 3 at Moultrie – Getting off on the Right Foot

Enjoying our delicious food prepared at the camp!

A little after 5:30pm yesterday evening, we once again loaded everyone in the program into our 30 car caravan to go back to the camp we helped at on Monday night. I felt a lot more comfortable and confident going back now that I had a night to see how everything was run and get used to the language barrier. Set up went smoother since we knew where everything went and it thankfully wasn’t raining or muddy (yet). All of the workers at the camp very graciously served our entire group a traditional Mexican dinner. The food was delicious and it felt so nice for them to welcome us into their lives in such a kind way.

Some of the housing facilities for the camp

Last night I was assigned to the foot care station where we cleaned the mens’ feet, cut their nails, moisturized and massaged their feet, and assessed for any infections or problems to refer them to the nurse practitioners and clinic. The foot care station is often the station that a lot of us nursing students dread, but it was set off to the side of the camp where we weren’t in the center of the hustle and bustle. A big part of the station involved educating the men on proper foot care and how to protect them from pesticide exposure in the field that can accumulate in their shoes, but since we got to sit with the men in a quieter environment, we could talk with them and connect and give them a bit of much needed relaxation and pampering. Unfortunately, a few hours into being at camp the clouds moved in and it began pouring so we had to close up the foot care station since it was outside. The other people working at the station and I ended up circulating and offering help at different stations as needed and tried to make the rest of the night as productive and smooth as possible.

 

BSN Student, Jessica Yang, hula hooping before the kids came in!

This morning we again returned to Cox Elementary School to help continue assessments and screenings on the kids in the summer school program. I was working at the vision testing station where we used picture charts to help test their vision for distance and also a book to check for color blindness. Gabrielle, one of the other BSN students, and I were working together and had a great flow with the kids as we would switch off having one of us filling out the kids’ charts as we tested their eyes and the other person pointing at the pictures and keeping the kids in the room entertained with stickers and funny glasses. I really enjoy starting the days working with the kids; they are so much fun to work with and they bring out a funny, silly side in everyone working and make the day so much more enjoyable. Tonight we are at a new camp working with a new group of men where more help, education, and learning can happen!

Day 2 at Moultrie – Feeling the Pressure

High fashion for nursing students at the first camp!

Yesterday we had our first night working with the farmworkers at their camps and it was quite an operation; everyone in the program throughout all of the disciplines lined up in their cars next to our hotel for a giant caravan drive to our first farm of the week! We all arrived together through muddy roads and began unloading and setting up numerous truckloads of supplies in our finest rain gear: ponchos resembling giant plastic bags and our scrub pants tucked nicely into our rain boots.

 

Sun goes down, head lamps go up!

Everyone was very excited setting up and preparing to meet and work with the men here. One of my favorite parts of this program is how we have so many different medical fields working together and learning from each other. Molly, one of the other nursing students, and I got to teach a group of the pharmacy students how to use the blood sugar and hemoglobin machines and then they were able to help us throughout the night when that station got busy. Even dental hygiene students helped the student nurse practitioners identify problems in the mens’ mouth. It was really great to see all disciplines finding ways to help each other and give the men we are assessing the best help they can get. Once all of the workers started filing in, I was definitely feeling the pressure… possibly because I was assigned to the blood pressure station… but also because I was facing the reality of trying to assess and educate these men when we didn’t have a language in common. I felt confident in my technical skills in taking blood pressures but that confidence was immediately lost when I tried to introduce myself, explain what I was doing, what their results were, and education on high blood pressure management when I only spoke English and they only spoke Spanish. Thankfully, like all students do in nursing school, I figured out a way to make it work. I learned a few phrases to help build some connection and realized how important a smile and a reassuring hand on the arm can be. We also have amazing translators with us that helped with some more complicated translations and education between us and the men. At around midnight we finally had everything packed up and drove our long line of cars back to the hotel.

 

After what only felt like 30 minutes of sleep, we were up again today and back at Cox Elementary School in the morning. Thankfully, almost all of our supplies were still set up from yesterday so it didn’t take too much work before we got to start seeing the kids. I was at the blood pressure station, but unlike last night I also had the added bonus of handing out stickers to the kids who came through. Many of the kids were very young and could only speak a little bit of english but we still made sure to have fun! They all got excited to get their blood pressure taken by a cuff that would “give their arm a big hug” before picking out the perfect sticker. I loved being able to joke around with the kids and show them how all of the equipment worked, which for them included squeezing the air pump of the blood pressure cuff until their hand got tired and tapping on my stethoscope as soon as I placed it in my ears. All of the kids there are so sweet and I’m so glad we can come and do our part to help them the next two weeks. Tonight we are back at the same camp we were at last night to continue our care for the rest of the men. It’ll be another muddy night but I know it will be worth it!

All smiles in the car ride back from the Elementary School!

Day 1 at Moultrie – Setting Up & Being Outsmarted by 4-year-olds

I’m Sarah Julius, a (soon-to-be) senior BSN student. I’m one of the students that’s going on the Farmworker Family Health Program trip in Moultrie, Georgia and I’ll be blogging my way through the next two weeks of my experience here! Following three hours of belting songs in the car, we arrived yesterday to the Ellenton Clinic in Moultrie, Georgia feeling excited but unsure of what the next two weeks would bring us. After signing in, we all crowded in a room together with other undergraduate nursing students, nurse practitioner students, pharmacy students, physical therapy students, and dental hygiene students. Although we initially tried to sit with our respective disciplines to seek out familiar faces, we were soon separated into groups with a student from each division so we could start our first activity: a scavenger hunt around the city of Moultrie where we saw the elementary school we would be working at, health care centers, and the local Walmart to buy something for the Farmworkers. Not only were we able to see the Moultrie environment and understand our surroundings, we were also able to meet new people in an interdisciplinary setting and learn about how they’ll be contributing different parts to this experience. We finished the night at a local Moultrie Fine Arts Center where everyone dressed up (the first and last time we will probably see each other in clothing other than scrubs) and Center was gracious enough to host us and serve us an amazing dinner.

BSN Students making a pit stop on the road trip down to Moultrie!

 

Our first morning and full day started early in the morning at Cox Elementary School where we transformed the gymnasium and surrounding classrooms into a makeshift clinic. We were all so excited to get everything started and begin seeing the kids that were there! Setting everything up took a few hours so the kids had to wait before they could come in. I would watch them as they came in and got to sit and play with toys and run and jump around as they were working with physical therapy. Unfortunately, the kids were not too happy when they got to where I was sitting with two other nursing students… the dreaded blood glucose station where they had to get their fingers stuck. We tried to still keep things fun, letting them pick their bandage design and stickers, but these 4-year-olds saw right through all of our tricks. Some kids just stared at me and sat on their hands (I would have done the same thing if I was them to be fair), but there were a few brave kids that got to show off their Minion bandages and Iron Man stickers to their friends later. After seeing a few groups of kids we cleaned up and one of the nearby churches, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, made everyone in the program a well-deserved lunch (consisting of a full spread of nachos, cookies, and fruit). Right now as I write this it’s a little after 3pm on the first full day; we have some downtime to relax and hangout before we leave caravan style with all of us packed in around 30 cars from the comfort of our hotel to our first farm to work with the farmworkers. It is my first time working in a setting like this and in an environment where I don’t speak the same language as my patients. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous, but I’m excited to see what challenges and experiences the rest of the night (and next two weeks) holds! It’s been raining all day so everything will be nice and muddy when we get there, thankfully we all brought our rain boots!

Setting up in the gymnasium of the Elementary School

BSN Students excited for the first day at the Elementary School!

Our wonderful TAs unloading our first truckload of supplies

My Experience in Moultrie

Alejandra Del Rocio Mendez, BSN, BUNDLE Scholar

During the month of June 2016, I began my journey as part of the Farm Worker Family Health Program with 14 amazing classmates, nurse practitioner students from Emory, and with students from dental hygiene, physical therapy, and pharmacy programs in Georgia. Located in the South part of the state, Moultrie is a small town home to such appreciative migrant farm workers and children, and generous people who volunteered to provide us with breakfast and lunch, supplies, donations for the farm workers and children, and a place to stay. As part of the Farm Worker Family Health Program, which sends nursing students to Moultrie every year, our goal was to work with an interdisciplinary team and to use the skills and knowledge we learned in our public health, health assessment, and rural health courses and from our clinicals in order to provide health care to a population who faces limited access to care and experiences difficulty overcoming language barriers.

For two weeks, our schedule went as follows: visiting the local elementary school every morning Monday through Friday from 8am until 12 noon, having lunch at a local church around 1pm, resting from 4 to 6pm, and then preparing to go to night camp every afternoon Monday through Thursday from 7pm to midnight and set up mobile stations at local farm camps. Every morning, we drove in carpool groups to Cox Elementary School which was about a five minute drive from the hotel where we were staying at. There, we set up auditory, vision, blood glucose and hemoglobin, height/weight/BMI, and blood pressure stations in order to screen children part of the Migrant Farm Worker summer school program. The purpose of screening each child was to complete a Georgia 3300 public health form so that these kids would have the opportunity to enroll in school if they were to move to a county due to migrant family circumstances. We took turns gathering groups of children and taking them to the nurse practitioners, dental hygienists, or physical therapists for them to receive their check-ups.

In the late afternoon, we prepared for night camp by gathering our flashlights and head lights, spraying ourselves from head to toe in mosquito repellant, and practicing some phrases in Spanish to communicate well with our clients. Our trip began by caravanning to the farm camp for that night. At arrival, we set up tents with stations for intake, blood pressure, hemoglobin and blood glucose, height/weight/BMI, and foot care, while the nurse practitioners, dental hygienists, pharmacists, physical therapists, and research students set up their own tables. Nursing students were paired with one or two more nursing students in the group and assigned to a different station each night, so we each had a chance at each station. Believe it or not, my favorite station was foot care. I enjoyed the time I spent with each of the clients and the opportunities to talk to them in Spanish. One thing I enjoyed doing was adding humor to my conversations to help the farm workers feel relaxed and less embarrassed about a nursing student taking care of their feet. Additionally, I took the time to assist the nurse practitioners, dental hygienists, pharmacists, and physical therapists with interpretation since I am fluent in Spanish. During this experience, it was important to note that the care we provide to the migrant farm workers and their families might have been the only health care they receive throughout the year.  For me, it was important to communicate well with the clients to make sure we gathered the correct information to assess, diagnose, and educate. There were several moments during my time in Moultrie when the farm workers came up to tell my classmates and I how grateful they were for all that we were doing for them and the time and effort we dedicated to help them.

An exciting part of my Moultrie experience was the opportunity to experience being out in the fields to pick out vegetables for ourselves. Going into the fields and picking out vegetables opened my eyes and increased my awareness of the importance of the work by the migrant farm workers. Since this experience, I have not forgetten where my food comes from and who picked it, and have thanked farm workers for their important job.

My time in Moultrie was a lifetime experience as I made new friends, met some hardworking and humble workers, and gave to a population who provides so much to us. Moultrie holds a special place in my heart. Honestly, I wish I could have been there much longer, and hopefully one day, I will have the opportunity to return and do much more. The need for healthcare services is so great in this area and with this population and it brought such a warm feeling to my heart to be able to share a laugh with the farm workers and with the kids despite the life situations they must face. My experience with the Farm Worker Family Health program has been very rewarding and very meaningful, because it proved to me that engaging in a nursing career was the best decision I have made.

Day 10 (6/24) – Las chicas de Moultrie

Day 10 – Las Chicas de Moultrie

For the final blog post, I thought I’d switch it up a little bit. I took part in this program alongside 14 amazing nursing students. Before this trip, most of us did not know much about each other, or the program, for that matter. But we are leaving Moultrie as sisters and more culturally competent nurses. For this blog post, I asked each of these wonderful girls how they felt about the Farm Worker Family Health Program. These were there answers:

"It's great to see how much good we are doing now. I would love to see how this program continues to grow in the coming years." Taryn Connelly, BSN Candidate '17

“It’s great to see how much good we are doing now. I would love to see how this program continues to grow in the coming years.” Taryn Connelly, BSN Candidate ’17

"Thank you Moultrie, and all the staff members, for providing us with an invaluable experience ." Ashley Rim, BSN Candidate '17

“Thank you Moultrie, and all the staff members, for providing us with an invaluable experience.” Ashley Rim, BSN Candidate ’17

"It's incredible to see how choosing to make a small difference can make a huge difference in someone else's life." Jennifer Zhang, BSN Candidate '17

“It’s incredible to see how choosing to make a small difference can make a huge difference in someone else’s life.” Jennifer Zhang, BSN Candidate ’17

 

 

"This was a better experience than I expected. The farm workers are very humble and appreciative. I wish we were here for a longer time." Alejandra Mendez, BSN Candidate '17

“This was a better experience than I expected. The farm workers are very humble and appreciative. I wish we were here for a longer time.” Alejandra Mendez, BSN Candidate ’17

"I had an amazing experience in Moultrie. The need is great in the farmworker population, but I am glad I was able to serve them through this program by putting a little seed forward. I am eager to take all the experiences and knowledge I gained through this trip to help vulnerable populations in the future." Karime Parra, BSN Candidate '17

“I had an amazing experience in Moultrie. The need is great in the farmworker population, but I am glad I was able to serve them through this program by putting a little seed forward. I am eager to take all the experiences and knowledge I gained through this trip to help vulnerable populations in the future.” Karime Parra, BSN Candidate ’17

"The best moments down in Moultrie happened when we were able to break down language barriers and share genuine laughter with the hardworking men we were caring for. It's that basic human connection that causes us to invest on a deeper level and to spark change for the future." Halle Sovich (left), BSN Candidate '18

“The best moments down in Moultrie happened when we were able to break down language barriers and share genuine laughter with the hardworking men we were caring for. It’s that basic human connection that causes us to invest on a deeper level and to spark change for the future.” Halle Sovich, BSN Candidate ’18

"This was really a great experience. I'm gonna go home and learn some Spanish!" Olivia Atlas, BSN Candidate '17

“This was really a great experience. I’m gonna go home and learn some Spanish!” Olivia Atlas, BSN Candidate ’17

"The children and farm workers we treated in Moultrie taught me one of the best lessons a nurse could ever learn. Sometimes the best medicine isn't medicine at all, but just some love and attention to let them know that someone cares." Jamie Smith, BSN Candidate '18

“The children and farm workers we treated in Moultrie taught me one of the best lessons a nurse could ever learn. Sometimes the best medicine isn’t medicine at all, but just some love and attention to let them know that someone cares.” Jamie Smith, BSN Candidate ’18

"I really learned a lot about myself during this trip. I am really thankful for this experience." Lucy Barr, BSN Candidate '18

“I really learned a lot about myself during this trip. I am really thankful for this experience.” Lucy Barr, BSN Candidate ’18

"The most important lesson I learned from the Farmworker Family Health Program is a lesson in appreciation. It is so easy to get swept up in the small stressors of daily life and to lose sight of the many gifts we are given. The farmworkers, however, continuously smiled and were grateful to see us, despite just finishing a fifteen hour day of hard labor out in the sun. They never seemed to let their work conditions, living conditions, or being away from their families get the best of them. Instead, they focused on what they had in the present: companionship with one another and the opportunity to receive some love and attention through our care. Being able to see this first hand definitely made a lasting impact on me. Like the farm workers, I will be grateful for what I do have; I won't worry about what I lack. I joined the program to give back to a population that provides so much, but I ended up receiving so much more." Kari Burdzinski, BSN Candidate'18

“The most important lesson I learned from the Farmworker Family Health Program is a lesson in appreciation. It is so easy to get swept up in the small stressors of daily life and to lose sight of the many gifts we are given. The farmworkers, however, continuously smiled and were grateful to see us, despite just finishing a fifteen hour day of hard labor out in the sun. They never seemed to let their work conditions, living conditions, or being away from their families get the best of them. Instead, they focused on what they had in the present: companionship with one another and the opportunity to receive some love and attention through our care. Being able to see this first hand definitely made a lasting impact on me. Like the farm workers, I will be grateful for what I do have; I won’t worry about what I lack. I joined the program to give back to a population that provides so much, but I ended up receiving so much more.” Kari Burdzinski, BSN Candidate’18

"I feel very fortunate to have been able to attend Moultrie as my first clinical experience and will remember how appreciative these farmworkers were. Moultrie offered me the opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary team with other compassionate and dedicated health care providers. I sincerely hope that Emory continues to send nursing students to help provide care to this deserving population." Grace Pixler, BSN Candidate '18

“I feel very fortunate to have been able to attend Moultrie as my first clinical experience and will remember how appreciative these farmworkers were. Moultrie offered me the opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary team with other compassionate and dedicated health care providers. I sincerely hope that Emory continues to send nursing students to help provide care to this deserving population.” Grace Pixler, BSN Candidate ’18

Jennifer Ratcliffe, BSN:

Being involved with the Moultrie FWFH project for a second time has given depth to my understanding of this population’s circumstances. Their personal stories were heart wrenching and their medical histories will help me remember musculoskeletal disorders, and the effects of pesticides on integumentary and nervous systems, among others.

“This trip taught me to be open to change.” Cathy Wei, BSN Candidate ’18

 

As for me, I am beyond grateful. Grateful to the amazing preceptors and directors of the program. Grateful to the churches, organizations, and people of Moultrie who opened their arms and hearts to us. Grateful to the hotels and other donors in Atlanta who gave us clothes, pillows, toiletries, and various other items to give to the farm workers. Most importantly, I am grateful to the wonderful men and women who endure so much to bring food to our tables so that they may try to provide for their families. Being able to practice what I love while providing a necessary service to an oftentimes overlooked group of people has been such an amazing experience for me. I am so happy that I was one of the special students chosen to participate in this incredible program.

 

-Haja Kanu

 

Day 9 (6/23/16) – No More Night Camps

Day 9 – No More Night Camps

I find it so hard to believe that we are really approaching the end of this program. We spent most of our time today at Cox Elementary packing up our stations and cleaning the classrooms and the gym. It feels like just yesterday we were setting up to see students. It also makes me sad to think that for some of the children, we are the only access they have to healthcare. Some will not get another check-up until next year when the program comes back into town. Being here makes me realize how fortunate I am to be able to see my doctor whenever I am not well or have a health concern. It’s easy to forget that not everyone has that luxury.

Packing up the gym

Packing up the gym

Emory NP students finish up the final charts at Cox Elementary

Emory NP students finish up the final charts at Cox Elementary

Final lunch in Moultrie

Final lunch in Moultrie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The interdisciplinary team (Emory BSN & NP students in blue scrubs, UGA Pharmacy in red, and Clayton State Dental Hygiene in green scrubs)

The interdisciplinary team (Emory BSN & NP students in blue scrubs, UGA Pharmacy in red, and Clayton State Dental Hygiene in green scrubs)

 

Night camp was not very busy due to the size of the camp that we visited tonight. I was stationed at the blood pressure table again. As I measured my patients’ blood pressures, I thought back to the first time I did the same task last week. I was not used to trying to listen for systolic and diastolic sounds out in a field, surrounded by gnats and loud noises. I found it quite difficult the first time, but now, I feel like a pro. We have developed this saying on the trip: “If you can do it in Moultrie, you can do it anywhere.” We are all a little sad that this was our final night camp. Overall, it has been such a wonderful and educational experience.

The blood pressure team

The blood pressure team

Alejandra checks her patient's blood glucose

Alejandra checks her patient’s blood glucose

– Haja Kanu

 

Day 8 (Wednesday, June 22) – Foot Care Technician by Night

Day 8 – Foot Care Technician by Night

Today, I took another turn at Height, Weight, & BMI. We did not see that many children since most of the students already did rotated through the stations. Because we had a lot of downtime, we began taking inventory of the materials we had at each station. While taking inventory, it began to dawn on me that our time in Moultrie is coming to an end. It feels like just yesterday we were unloading the van and setting up our stations. Time flies!

Setting up the penultimate night camp

Setting up the penultimate night camp

Night camp set-up

Night camp set-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After dreading it for a week and a half, I finally got stationed in foot care. But surprisingly, I felt ready. I have been practicing Spanish this whole trip and this was my opportunity to showcase what I had learned. Thankfully, it went well! With my broken Spanish, I was able to learn a few things about the men as I examined and took care of their feet. We spoke about Mexico, their families, and what kind of music they listened to. I even got a few song suggestions for my night camp playlist. I noticed that some men came to the station a little shy and self-conscious, but the more we talked, the more comfortable they seemed. I was happy to know that though my task was not specifically nursing-related, it helped people feel better, which is what nursing is all about.

Selfie with Don Jose (bottom right), an Ellenton Clinic employee

Selfie with Don Jose (bottom right), an Ellenton Clinic employee

 

– Haja Kanu