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News Release

Nursing Majors to tell of Life-Changing Experiences Working in Honduras Clinic

Bethlehem, Pa., February 5,— A group of Moravian College students and faculty in the nursing program will present “Report to the Community, A Nursing Mission in Honduras” on Wednesday, February 6, at 4 p.m. in the Snyder Room, Haupert Union Building.  The group will share their life-changing experiences from the 12 days they spent in Moravian Clinics in Ahuas, Honduras, Central America. For nearly two weeks during winter break, the group worked in a medical clinic—managing the daily care of patients, assisting in surgeries, and delivering babies.

Nursing students Dana DeAngelis, ’08 Bedminster, N.J., Candice Gerber, ’08 Bethlehem, Pa., Jessica Lord, ’08  Easton, Pa. and Ramona Robison, ’09 Bethlehem, Pa., will share their stories and photographs. They will be joined by Marianne Adam, assistant professor of nursing, Kim Bartholomew, adjunct nursing faculty member, and Kerry Cheever, professor of nursing, and chair of the St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing at Moravian College.

St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing at Moravian College sponsors the program to offer students the opportunity to gain valuable clinical experience first-hand, and to experience life and health care in a developing country, to examine the role of the mission nurse, and to enhance cultural understanding.  “Until one experiences it first-hand, you don't really understand what people in underdeveloped nations like Honduras are up against in terms of health care,” said Professor Cheever. “Supplies are very limited, gloves are washed to be used again and there are no linens in the hospital. Families are responsible for bringing their own linens.  We were taking care of a woman who just delivered a newborn baby, and  a dog ran into the suite where the baby was delivered.”

While many students were home relaxing over the holiday break, the students were gaining valuable clinical experience. “I'd have to say between all of us we must've delivered over 15 babies within the two week period,” noted Dana DeAngelis.

The students noticed a big difference between patients in Honduras and at home. “The patients never complained about waiting in line to see a doctor,” said Ramona Robison. “They didn't complain about the lack of resources. They just appreciated what they had.”

Ramona Robison’s sentiments were shared by the entire group, “the experience was truly incredible.”

The nursing mission program was designed to implement a nursing course entitled “Nursing of Populations at High Risk for Health Problems” taught by Dr. Janet A. Sipple, professor of nursing. Throughout the fall term, students engaged in intensive study of the Spanish language and customs, and international issues in health care, and tropical disease management.
Students working with St. Luke's Hospital have gathered a large volume of medical supplies, clothes, and medications to take to the sites. At the Ahuas Clinics, students will work assessing patients and village citizens, assist in births and surgery, manage the daily care of patients, and promote health by teaching.

The nursing course has been planned and organized for the past seven years with the Moravian World Mission Board through Hampton Morgan. Special funding for the project is provided by Central Moravian Church, St. Luke's Hospital, Moravian College, and the area Rotary Clubs of Bethlehem's Morning Star Club, Allentown's Liberty Club, and Nazareth. Many individuals in the Lehigh Valley assisted the group with preparations and gathering resource materials.   

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.