This year instead of the traditional spring break, nursing students from the University of Maine will be participating in a trip through the International Service Learning (ISL) organization. ISL is an international non-government program who offers medical volunteer programs internationally in Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Africa. The nursing students will be involved in community health surveys and providing health care support in underpriviledged villages and in Belize City.
We are a group of 14 people associated with the University of Maine Orono. Most of us are currently nursing students in varying years of education, one is already out there practicing and graduated, and our dedicated faculty member, Susan Wheaton, who will be embarking on this journey with us. As we work alongside and under the direction of the local government health ministry, we will not only be involved in an incredible educational opportunity, but a journey that will certainly be challenging, humbling, meaningful, and one that I am sure will forever change our global nursing perspective. This will indeed be a professional and individual growth experience which will concurrently inprove the lives of families in need while also developing our cultural awareness.
This is our first year organizing a trip of this nature and we hope this grows into a learning experience that will be offerered for years to come giving future nursing students an experience of a humanitarian and global health approach of nursing.
We will all be posting with our personal stories, experiences, and thoughts both before and after our trip in late February 2011. We delightedly invite you to follow along with us through our journey!!