Making a Difference in Grenada
Six students travel to Grenada to study abroad.
While most college students spend spring break relaxing, one group of Gator Nurses traveled to Grenada for a study abroad adventure during which they performed health evaluations, provided dental supplies to locals, shadowed Grenadian nurses and appeared on TV and radio broadcasts to discuss health promotion.
Led by Clinical Assistant Professor Paula Delpech, PhD, RN, APRN, this was the second year a group of undergraduate students have visited Grenada. Throughout the trip, the students took turns writing daily blog posts about their experiences. Here is a sampling of the blogs. Visit our website to read the full account.
Grenada Study Abroad ePortfolios:
Day 1 – March 1
By Rebecca Gomez and Sarah Bright
With spring break quickly approaching, we met to divide supplies and bagged toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss to be able to hand out to people at our health fairs. We were flooded with donations that will be a blessing to locals in Grenada. During that time we also had to divide up the general supplies like glucose meters, biohazard bags and hand sanitizers, as we had to bring all of the supplies for the health fairs.
Day 2 – March 2
By Marianna Colon
We arrived in Gouyave and started off our trip by setting up the health fair with a blood pressure station, glucose check station, education area, a breast examination area and a crafts station for children. We were paired and greeted by nursing students from Grenada who attend St. George’s University and nurse practitioner students from Boston. Over the next few hours, we all rotated checking blood pressures, blood sugars, performing breast exams and educating patients on various aspects of their health ranging from diabetes, ovarian cancer and hypertension.
Day 4 – March 4
By Tiffany Alexander
We prepared specific health topics that we would be talking about during our time here, and we were given a wonderful opportunity to have our message broadcast throughout Grenada on a local radio and TV station. We all took turns talking about breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, adolescent health and the HPV vaccine.
Day 5 – March 5
By Rebecca Gomez
We were received by the St. George’s General Hospital director of nursing. The hospital is set up in a ward style, where there are about 30 beds in the ward, separated by curtains, and a set of nurses assigned to each ward. No two bed areas are the same, and patients are allowed to utilize their own bed sheets and clothing. It was nice to see the teamwork among the nurses, especially because their case load was so heavy. One of us shadowed a nurse who had 30 patients! Experiencing this nurse-to-patient ratio inspired us to be adaptable, organized and optimistic.
Day 7 – March 7
By Sarah Bright
Today we were able to help with a health fair in St. George’s. There was a station to discuss diets, portion sizes and healthy foods, a blood glucose table and blood pressure station. There were several tables with educational materials about disease processes, mental illnesses, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. There was an area for vision screening and a closed area for breast exams, which is a topic we have emphasized the entire trip. We are grateful to have had this opportunity, and feel very proud of the work done today
Day 10 – March 10
By Tiffany Alexander
For me, the trip reminded me of why I want to be a nurse. I think so often I get caught up in studying, trying to get good grades and thinking about what’s next, I lose sight of the reason for it all. Everything is about the patient, being there for them, spending time with them, doing your best to care for them, taking that extra second out of your busy schedule to make sure they’re doing okay and asking if they need anything. Granada is a very different pace from the U.S., and it was such a great reminder to take a breath and see the person first instead of just trying to cure them of their disease.