Jennifer O’Shaughnessy and Jane Pearson, both recent graduates of the LCCC nursing program, will be traveling to Haiti in Oct. for a week to aid the citizens and a local orphanage by providing a basic checkup to severer cases that need attention.
“When Jen ran the idea by me I thought the Appalachian Mountains, or assisting with a reservation in North Dakota or South Dakota.” Jane Pearson said describing when she found out their destination. “It was shocking, but exciting.”
LCCC has sent nursing students abroad to assist local medical teams and organizations in the past. However, it has been several years since the last group of nursing students traveled abroad. “Now that I have graduated, and before I get a job, I want to get that experience,” Jennifer O’Shaughnessy said explaining her drive to participate in the project. “This is one of the main reasons I wanted to become a nurse; to go out and help the less fortunate people in other countries.”
Mission of Hope, the organization that the team will be working with and through is an organization that brings educational, medical and spiritual assistance to people around the world.
Both women are excited to use their education and medical knowledge once they arrive. “We have been through six different clinical settings,” Pearson added “now we are about to get out there with the children and use them.”
Both women are also looking forward to the experiences and personal lessons they will learn when they arrive. “Going to a third world country, seeing, and learning about their culture, seeing what they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis [struggling for things] that we take for granted like clean drinking water will be life changing.” expressed O’Shaughnessy. “Plus being able to communicate with people and accept them for who they are and their different culture and beliefs and welcome them with open arms will be great.”
Besides their medical training both O’Shaughnessy and Pearson had to learn common French phrases and have to receive certain shots before they board their plane. They have even decided who will be sleeping where in the bunk bed they will share. “I already told Jen that I get the bottom bunk. I don’t want to roll out of that top bunk,” Pearson said.
The team hopes to bring supplies with them to Haiti. Basic supplies such as band aids, Neosporin, and other first aid kit fillers are highly appreciated to the local citizens. “They have nothing. So the Student Nurse Association has (under Dr. Urrutia) been making a collection during the fall semester.” Pearson added. “We hope to bring more with us when we leave.”
“It is just so eye-opening to go anywhere or travel anywhere,” added Pearson. “It broadens your horizons. If it was a trip to South Dakota or to Haiti it is going to make us better nurses and better people by seeing that.”
The duo is still looking for donations of clothing and medical supplies. They are also looking for additional funding. “Since it is a charity we had to come up with our own money. We started a GoFundMe account and we have also been sending letters to people to see if they would donate any money or other items.” added Pearson. “Any help we can get will be great.” To donate visit their Go Fund Me account http://www.gofundme.com/xw9karqs.