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Entries about health

Tony's Blog

International Service Learning Program in Belize 2013


This trip has really been an eye-opening experience for me. I haven't had many opportunities to travel like this, so seeing a new part of the world has been huge for me. The work I've done at the Hillside clinic has been some of the most rewarding I've done since I started in the field, and it really makes you realize what you take for granted at home. The cramped pharmacy at the clinic and their limited supply of medications and supplies forces you to push what you have to the absolute limit. It's clear that this area is in need of better quality health care, and I'm so glad to have been a part of their team.

Our work at the schools has been another great experience. Having the opportunity to go into the classrooms and spend some time with the students has given me a much greater understanding of the health resources they have. Many of the schools haven't been the nicest looking places, but everyone there loves it and they are all so thankful for what they have.

This trip has been a fantastic opportunity for me so far and I can't wait to see what the rest of it will bring.

Anthony Micallef
Pharmacy Technology Student
NSCC, Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 09:16 Archived in Belize Tagged education belize nova_scotia health pharmacy study_abroad service_learning Comments (0)

Anne's Blog

International Service Learning Program in Belize 2013


As we drive to Hillside clinic each day we pass a tree called the flamboyant tree. It has beautiful orange-red blossoms on a bed of green. It is growing on land that is dry and burnt from lack of rain next to houses that are shacks by our standards. It grows unexpectedly and flourishes despite adversity and its beauty never fails to amaze me.

That has been my impression of the Health and Human services students from NSCC.They started as strangers,unsure of themselves and others and have blossomed into mature young men and women. They have endured long delays at airports,a hot an crowded 6 hour bus ride,intense heat and a dry swimming pool.They have tackled new challenges like the heat, close quarters with virtual strangers and new foods(fry jacks) with enthusiasm.They have thrown themselves into new situations like the Toledo schools and Hillside clinic with little trepidation and a lot of passion,eager to teach and learn at the same time.They have offered shoulders to cry on and encouragement and praise for jobs well done.They have truly been like the flamboyant tree, strong, beautiful and an unexpected pleasure .Well done guys and gals.

Anne Schleit
Continuing Care Assistant Faculty
NSCC, Burridge Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 09:12 Archived in Belize Tagged education belize nova_scotia health study_abroad service_learning Comments (0)

Nicole P's Blog

International Service Learning Program in Belize 2013

As I sit on the balcony at the hotel in Punta Gorda around 8 pm I can listen to the children playing and laughing down in the town and it reminds me of the laughing I got to hear from a 13 year old patient with Cerebral Palsy who was fitted for his very first wheel chair. The volunteers at the Hillside Clinic spoke directly to the boy while working with him. It was wonderful to see the smile and hear the laughing come from the boy as they fitted the wheel chair to his body. The clinic also tried to use resources they know the family can get. They suggested using rolled up cloth or towels to use by his legs until he got use to the wheel chair to avoid sores on his legs and sides. The excitement on his father’s face as he wheeled his son out of the clinic rather than carrying him was a bonus as well. Seeing this brought tears to my eyes as I study in the disability supports field.

This experience has taught me to appreciate the things we take for granted back at home such as the supports persons with disabilities can receive back at home. I also got to take part in home visits with an occupational therapist. Most of the people here have greeted me with a smile as I walk throughout the town. Every person we went to see was happy to have new faces enter their home. I have also learned on this service learning program to not underestimate people and to go into people’s houses with an open mind and to watch my non-verbal communication because life here is much different than in Canada. This will be a valuable tool to have back home as well.

Nicole Peel
Disability Support Services Student
NSCC, Kingstec Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 14:01 Archived in Belize Tagged education belize nova_scotia health study_abroad service_learning disability_support Comments (0)

Kelly's Blog

International Service Learning Program in Belize 2013

We are beginning our second and last week in Punta Gorda, Belize. As any Canadian knows, the weather is always a topic of discussion but for us – there is only one descriptor for every day here – it is HOT!
Our students are all performing at a high level on their projects and despite a number of challenges, they support and encourage one another.

I was aware before this trip that the Belizean health care system is quite different from what we are used to in Nova Scotia. One of our partners for this project is The Hillside Clinic, which is staffed by volunteer health professionals. This clinic provides much needed medical/nursing/rehabilitative and home health services but… it’s not nearly enough. Hillside has offered an amazing opportunity for our students from the Pharmacy Tech and Practical Nursing programs. Late last week, I saw a 3yr old girl at the clinic with a very involved infection in her thigh. It had spread to her groin area, involved the lymph nodes and was clearly moving towards the abdominal cavity. The attending physician consulted with the clinic medical director to determine the best course of action. Everyone agreed that in Canada this child would be admitted to hospital, have intravenous antibiotics started immediately and have the site of the infection lanced and drained in an operating room. However, this would not be possible here. Instead, she was given an injectable antibiotic and her Mom was given instructions to bring her back the next day for another injection. Everyone was aware that this wasn’t optimal but it was available. I looked forward to seeing the little girl the next day and hoped there would be some improvement in her condition. She didn’t come back. Compliance for treatment is an issue in any health setting but the overarching issues here are that needed health care for many people in this part of Belize is not adequate and Hillside Clinic cannot provide everything to everyone.

There is definitely a difference in “knowing” other parts of the world have different health care standards and then witnessing that reality up close and personal. Students are not the only ones here that are learning and growing!

Kelly McKnight
Projects Director
School of Health & Human Services

Posted by NSCC Intl 13:58 Archived in Belize Tagged education belize nova_scotia health healthcare study_abroad service_learning Comments (0)

Brett's Blog

International Service Learning Program Med Lab Technology in the Dominican Republic 2013

Day 1: With great excitement, we got the chance to meet Dr. Lambert today at his clinic in the city of Puerto Plata. Having an opportunity to be immersed in the culture around the area and be exposed to the language, atmosphere, and social dynamics of the people has been incredibly interesting. Speaking with Dr. Lambert about his vision for the lab is fascinating and getting to measure the space and visualize what it could become makes the goal for our project that much clearer. All of these things have truly made the trip so far a fulfilling experience and the rest of the week will be life changing!

Day 2: Another incredible day on the trip! We had the chance to visit Dr Lambert’s clinc in the Batey, walk around a bit of the area, even getting to meet a class full of school children who were learning 4 languages, Spanish, English ,French and Creole. This is a great asset for these children as it gives them an opportunity to work in places in Puerto Plata where fluency of languages is important.
This experience motivates me to pursue becoming more multi-lingual, to be able to better communicate when travelling to other countries.

Day 3: It was a great experience to visit a private lab, Coste Norde, today. The lab manager was friendly, energetic and ready to explain the origins of their establishment as well as their plans to expand the operation to include more testing.

The people here are incredibly friendly. They have welcomed us into their workplaces with open arms. Sadly, I can't say for certain that the same mentality is shared in a lot of workplaces in Canada. I feel as though I've gained appreciation for the importance of being positive and the impact it can have on the people around you.

Brett Smith
Medical Laboratory Technology Student
NSCC, Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 14:43 Archived in Dominican Republic Tagged education nova_scotia health study_abroad nscc medical_laboratory_technology Comments (0)

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