Being here in Eleuthera has been truly amazing. Physically interacting with the people in the clinics and schools has changed our perspectives of community. The people of Eleuthera have been welcoming and pleasant!
Following our experiences in the schools, actually talking with the students and hearing feedback from the teachers, I was proud, knowing I was able to make a difference. After a young, teenage girl asked if there was a way for her to keep in contact with me following our STD Presentation, I was ecstatic! I hope the knowledge we shared will save lives and encourage the students to make responsible decisions. They can now use and share the knowledge they learned with others. Hopefully, our efforts can assist with slowing the spread of STD’s, especially herpes. According to an Eleuthera nurse, it is currently on the rise on the island. It was truly an experience I value and wish to continue in schools and other “at risk” populations.
I definitely honor volunteering and sharing knowledge. When I think over my goals of serving the underserved, I definitely see the possibilities here. These amazing people of Eleuthera deal with what they have, hope for the better, but the are not greedy or wasteful. They don’t fret over what they do not have available, they simply value their blessings.
Everyone knows everyone and they all help and share with each other. I have still been unable to digest how amazing the nurses are in Eleuthera. They are literally “Superwomen!” They have to work autonomously as they are sometimes the only healthcare personnel available. They can do everything except major surgeries, trust me, they do! The main focus for Eleuthera nurses is preventive health and hypertension and diabetes surveillance, although they respond to all patient concerns. Under the Eleuthera’s Government and the Department of Health, the healthcare workers attend to school aged children, in at least grades 1, 5, and 10. It is mandatory for them to do health screenings for the students at the schools. I remember a similar process when I was in elementary school, so assisting with the screenings, brought back memories. The nurses do general screenings of height, weight, blood pressure, vision with Snellen charts, immunizations, and sometimes hemoglobin tests. The doctor then follows up with “at risk children,” or children with abnormal values.
The Eleuthera nurses definitely have encouraged me to go far, embrace nursing and my explore my capabilities to heal and impact the lives of my patients.