2015 Mission to Guatemala: Final Day

FullSizeRenderTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Pharmacy Faculty Members
Elisa Greene & Edgar Diaz-Cruz, and
Nursing Faculty Member Jamie Adam

Our team returned safely to Nashville just before midnight last night with exhausted, yet fulfilled students and faculty. This unique Springbreak experience gave students an incredible opportunity to be immersed not only as American students in the Guatemalan culture, but also as an inter-professional healthcare team. Nursing, OT, Pharmacy students and a student majoring in Communications, learned how to leverage each other’s strengths to provide quality care to the people of Guatemala. Within the majors, students had various degrees of experience. Graduate students were mentoring undergraduates, seniors were mentoring freshman, and faculty were facilitating meaningful inter-professional learning experiences.

As most international trips go, students and faculty were challenged to be flexible about their own expectations and use the unexpected as “teachable moments.” In addition, our team had to learn to manage the people’s expectations of what we could provide. There was much we could offer, but in some cases, we had to acknowledge our own limitations. Regardless of whether we could identify a problem or a need, our patient might not be able to afford a physician or the medications needed. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 6

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

ToriPowersDanielleMarshallGabiOkoniewskiTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Gabi Okoniewski, Danielle Marshall
& Tori Powers

A week ago, none of us knew what exactly we were getting into as we traveled to Antigua, Guatemala. Now a week later, our expectations of this trip have been far exceeded and our perspectives have changed. Not only have we learned about the culture here in Antigua, but we have also learned more about our own culture in America. Collaborating with the different professions this week has given us all a greater appreciation for the different disciplines in the healthcare field. This was a great experience that could not be matched by any other.

1Guatemala15Top reasons why YOU should come on the Guatemala Spring Break Immersion Trip

-There is 75 degree weather everyday and there are NO mosquitos!

-The creation of new friendships.

-Cultural compentance within the city.

-Having the ability to interact with the kids at both the coffee plantation school and the God’s Children School. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 5

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

KandiceSquiresErinOakleyErinToddTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Erin Todd, Erin Oakley,
Kandice Squires, Noah Ploegman &
Justin Beasley

Today our group drove to San Luca, a small town ten minutes from Antigua, to visit a pharmaceutical manufacturer called PharmaDel. JustinBeasleyNoahPloegmanHere we had the unique opportunity to observe the medication manufacturing process first-hand. It was exciting for us as future pharmacists to follow a medication from its raw form into its final packaged product ready to be distributed across Central America. We were impressed with the level of dedication and integrity demonstrated by plant employees.

After observing these processes for both solid and liquid medication formulations, our tour then shifted focus from the manufacturing aspect towards PharmaDel`s quality assurance measures. The technology and lab techniques used to evaluate the purity of the medication produced are very similar to those which we use in our country. 1Guatemala11Special air pressurization, filtration systems, and room design functioned to enhance sterility and prevent contamination. PharmaDel is working towards becoming certified by the World Health Organization as meeting their highest standards for pharmaceutical manufacturing. It was surprising to our group that most of the drug development and quality assurance measures were performed by pharmacists, however, the guide explained to us that this is a common role for pharmacists in Guatemala. To become licensed, students complete 5 years of post-high school general and pharmacy education, plus 6 months each in a hospital and laboratory practice setting. Finally, they complete an internship in one of these areas, which often leads to employment. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 4

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

AlexisRheaAnnePendleyMaddyClarkeWilliamsTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Maddy Clarke Williams & Alexis Rhea-Anne Pendley

Language may be regional, but love is universal.

Today, we had no expectations of where we were going or what we would be doing. Upon arriving, we came to realize we were at a school that was tangible proof of how one man’s work can establish a strong community for roughly 150 students in Antigua, Guatemala. Some twenty years ago, a man’s heart was touched by God’s radiating beauty that he experienced through the children he met on a mission trip. He was inspired to give back to the children who touched him. With the little money he had, he was able to purchase a Big Mac and split it twenty ways, so every child to which he was ministering was able to have some. The man went on to create a school for these orphans that has developed through the years and now provides a safe and empowering environment. We soon realized our purpose at the school differed from our previous experiences at the coffee plantation.

1Guatemala07To begin our day, we taught the children the importance of nutrition and basic hygiene, such as washing hands and brushing teeth. To assist in our teachings, we taught the students a simple, yet catchy, song about washing their hands. After practicing this song with them several times, they requested more songs. With humble hearts and shaky voices, our group managed to quiet the area by singing Amazing Grace. Many of us later remarked on the power of the moment; though the students may not have understood the words we sang, they definitely appeared to share the same content feelings. Afterwards, the children were eager to share with us a few of the songs they had learned at school. Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 3

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

EllieIvancichTimZerwicRachelSearfossTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Rachel Searfoss, Tim Zerwic & Ellie Ivancich

Put a few students in a room and you come up with a physical assessment. Put a few more students in a room and you come up with a list of suggested medications. Put yet another student in the room and you learn what exercises can be done to remedy specific pain. Put all of the above along with faculty and interpreters in a room, and you come up with a plan, from English to Spanish, for how to help an individual return to a more optimal state of health.

Day two of health screenings and teaching begins in Antigua with the College of Health Sciences and Pharmacy missions team. The group has worked incredibly hard to find better ways to organize our efforts together in order to provide the most useful amount of care that we can give to the coffee plantation workers and their families. Everyone has offered their insight, experience, heartfelt concerns, suggestions, and innovative ideas to make this process mesh together in a solidified way. When workers came to the screenings earlier this morning, we began recording height and weight first, assessing for any complaints of pain or health concerns, taking blood pressure and blood glucose measurements, and teaching for both adult and child CPR education. The effort to reorganize the health screening process engaged the workers and families so much more than before and also helped to streamline the process into where those with more serious health issues were able to receive more concentrated and specific care. One of those cases worked closely with our occupational therapy student on the mission team, Tim.

1Guatemala07A man who works the coffee fields was complaining of upper back and shoulder pain. He reported that he lifts heavy bags of coffee over and over again each day. The bags, filled with fresh coffee harvested, can weigh up to 150 pounds. After assessing the injury, Tim considered that the man may be suffering from a supraspinatus tendon impingement. This type of injury affects the rotator cuff and involves abduction of the arm away from the body and can result from overuse and overexertion. Working with an interpreter, Tim taught the man how to perform different types of stretches and exercises he could do at home, even with a can of beans, something he easily has on hand.

Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 2

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

NoahPloegmanKristenFlowersTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Kristen Flowers and Noah Ploegman

On our second day in Guatemala began with a traditional Guatemalan breakfast prepared by a local mother and daughter. After breakfast, we ventured thirty minutes under the shadow of an active volcano to a coffee plantation where women enthusiastically greeted each member of the team with a hug.

1Guatemala02The owner of the plantation allowed us to set up a clinic in the school for his employees and their families. We provided screenings for diabetes and hypertension, personal hygiene, nutrition, and CPR. In return, the plantation owner invited us to experience the “work” on a coffee plantation. We were able to sort and pick coffee beans, and observe, first hand, the heavy lifting the workers perform. This experience gave us insights into why we were seeing so many workers complaining of shoulder and knee pain. In addition, the recent volcano eruption left ash covering the coffee plants and covered the workers and us while we worked, leaving us to wonder if workers were experiencing respiratory issues.

Although we had prepared for screenings and teaching it quickly became apparent that workers and their families had many acute needs they wanted addressed.
Patients presented with symptoms of strep throat, peritonsilar abscess, arthritis, diabetes, peripheral edema, and arrhythmias. This unexpected change placed a new responsibility on our team to work together to manage their expectations and our capabilities to care for their immediate needs.

Continue reading

2015 Mission to Guatemala: Day 1

Two separate teams of health science students are in Guatemala over Spring Break this year.  One team consists of nursing and pharmacy students.  The other includes OT and PT students.  Both  team are writing about their experiences.

RachelSearfossTeam Nursing/Pharmacy
from Rachel Searfoss

Yesterday was lift off! A group of 20 students and faculty from the College of Health Sciences and Pharmacy ventured from Nashville to embark on the Immersion Mission trip over spring break 2015. The Immersion mission trip to Antigua, Guatemala connects students and faculty with local workers and families in Guatemala, hoping to reach others’ physical needs through the skills we have learned thus far and also their spiritual needs, giving our hearts and our testimony to others wherever they need it.

After flying in and staying overnight in Guatemala City, the group finally made it to our destination here in Antigua. Picture this: blue skies interspersed with fluffy clouds, lazily making their way around an active volcano seen rising in the midst of the beaming sunshine, all while steadying oneself upon the historic cobblestone streets, touching the stone walls of a church built in years past. This is Antigua. A city bustling around statuesque churches with street vendors selling anything from candies to tapestries comes alive in the afternoon to meet our eager and excited group. Our first stop – the local grocery store.

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Nursing Faculty Published in ‘Nursing Clinics of North America’ Journal

hallmarksmallShoresSmallCollege of Health Sciences Simulation Director Dr. Beth Hallmark and School of Nursing Professor Dr. Lynne Shores recently published a review article entitled “Safe Patient Handling and Mobility” in the peer-reviewed journal “Nursing Clinics of North America.” The article was co-written by Dr. Patricia Mechan, a physical therapy clinical consultant with Guldmann, Inc..

The article highlights educational, practice, policy and legislative efforts needed to reduce the problem of work-related injury in health care, emphasizing the interprofessional perspective.

Belmont’s Simulation Center contains ceiling lifts and other state of the art lift equipment used to educate students in the most advanced, safe handling techniques.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Opens Nominations for Inaugural Class

fountain-2014-105-300x199With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industry, The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame seeks to recognize and honor the pioneers and current leaders who have formed Tennessee’s health and health care community and encourage future generations of health care professionals.

The nominations process began on February 20 and will continue until April 10 at www.tnhealthcarehall.com. Created by Belmont University and the McWhorter Society, The Hall of Fame is supported by the Nashville Health Care Council, a Hall of Fame Founding Partner. The inaugural class will be announced at the McWhorter Society’s May 5 luncheon.

In addition to recognizing Tennessee’s most influential health and health care leaders, The Hall of Fame will serve as an on-going educational resource to document the rich history that has contributed to Tennessee’s position as a leader for national health care initiatives.

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DNP Students Participate in Tennessee Legislative Boot Camp

Belmont DNP student James Winegart (right) participates in a role-playing exercise designed to help students communicate effectively with legislators.

Belmont DNP student James Winegart (right) participates in a role-playing exercise designed to help students communicate effectively with legislators.

Five doctoral nursing students recently participated in the Tennessee Action Coalition’s Legislative Boot Camp held in Nashville.  As part of their Health Policy course, taught by Dr. Carrie Harvey, Associate Professor of Nursing, the students joined 80 other nurses and nursing students in learning how to successfully communicate with state legislators. The students had interactive learning opportunities, toured capitol hill, and received training on the Full Practice Authority bill being introduced to the Tennessee Legislature this year.

Participating students included Robin Hopp, Tracy Wilson, James Winegart, Catherine Evans and Christine Hardesty.