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.
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!