Dominican Republic trip will make lasting impact on students
March 21, 2019

A number of Georgian health and wellness students will have the opportunity of a lifetime this spring to provide care and health education to those in dire need in the Dominican Republic. Two separate groups –  one a mix from the Practical Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs, and the other a mix of both nursing and Dental Hygiene students –  along with nursing and dental hygiene faculty, will travel to two rural areas, Consuelo and San Jose De Ocoa.

These trips, which Georgian has organized since 2000, have a huge emotional and professional impact on the students. The trips also broaden their cultural awareness and understanding of the implications of poverty on health. Hundreds of Georgian students have participated in this experience over the years and benefitted from the opportunity.

Francesca Dougan, a second-year Practical Nursing student, is looking forward to the experience. This is her first time going on the trip. She will be travelling with the group heading to the Consuelo region in the Dominican Republic.

What are you looking forward to most? Making connections with the people of Consuelo and offering their community my support and health services.

What do you hope to learn? I wish to learn about the culture and family life in Consuelo. We’ll also have the opportunity to see health care in an underdeveloped country, which will be really interesting.

Why is it important to participate in these kind of trips? An awareness trip such as this one is important because we provide care and kindness to a part of the world in need. At the same time, the experience will hopefully have a lifelong impact on me and others going on the trip. In addition, helping communities in places like Consuelo encourages awareness and social justice in our own communities back home.

When do you leave? April 24. We’re there until May 2.

A white woman with short reddish hair sitting on a grey couch in front of a table filled with medical supplies. She's smiling and wearing a pink shirt, stethoscope and black pants.

What kind of services will you  provide? We’ll provide some hands-on nursing care in clinics as well as in-home visits. We’ll also offer interprofessional care to  residents in rural communities in several ways:

  • community clinics
  • working alongside nurses and doctors at the local hospital
  • home visits
  • visits to long-term care homes
  • visits to an orphanage

This will include overall health assessments, wound care, respiratory care, musculoskeletal care, pain and parasite medication and more. We’ll also visit local schools and provide much needed supplies and education to children.

A young white nurse with blonde hair filling out paperwork for a black man wearing a purple hat and white shirt. He's holding a young boy with black hair and a red tank top.

How are you paying for the trip? All the students are fundraising to pay for the trip as well as purchase much-needed supplies that we bring to the Dominican Republic. We have a fundraising page where people can make a donation.

What items can people donate? We’re collecting a variety of items:

  • toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • medication cups
  • hats
  • sunglasses
  • bandaides
  • abdominal pads
  • gauze
  • tape
  • syringes (10cc, 3cc)
  • tongue depressors
  • alcohol swabs
  • crutches
  • hand sanitizer

We also need a variety of medication:

  • Tylenol (infants, children and adults)
  • Ibuprophen, Advil, Naproxen or other anti-inflammatory medication (all ages)
  • Gravol or other antiemetics
  • antacid tablets and laxatives
  • eye drops (for dryness and conjunctivitis)
  • decongestants and cough expectorants
  • antibiotics, antifungal and cortisone based creams and ointment
  • multi-vitamins (infants, children and adults)

Where can people drop  off donations? Students and faculty will be packing for the trip on Saturday, April 13 at the Barrie Campus. If you’re interested in making a donation, please contact Alicia Sedgwick or Susan Vodarek beforehand.

How else can people help? We’re having a bake sale at the Barrie Campus on Monday, March 25. It will take place from 9 a.m. to noon across from Subway. We’re also hosting a fun comedy night in The Last Class that evening. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 10 p.m. Advance tickets are $5 and $10 at the door. All the money raised from these two events will help us purchase much needed supplies.

Why did you choose the field of nursing? Nursing has been my lifelong passion. At the age of 39, I decided to take a leap and go back to school to pursue my dream. Nurses are a vital part of many health care teams and are kind, supportive and smart. I’m looking forward to working as a nurse, having more adventures, meeting wonderful professionals and providing my community with impressive care.

Are you a Georgian student venturing on a trip or experience abroad? Share your adventures with us. Tag @georgiancollege on social media and use #ExperienceGeorgian.