International Nursing: The USM Health Outreach Project
Whitney Lutz, RN, MS, FNP
This community partnership offers undergraduates the opportunity to participate in a unique international nursing experience. RN, accelerated, option and graduate students, as well as other health professionals, interpreters and community volunteers participate with undergraduates in this project. At the heart of the project are the 2 week primary health care missions that take place in the rural villages and serve over 2000 patients of all ages, many of whom are known to us already. Care is delivered by teams of students and interpreters working together with faculty and preceptor support in daily clinics, health education chats, and home and hospital visits.
Students and volunteers will meet regularly in the semesters before and after the missions to learn about the needs of this population and to seek out donations of funds or medicines and supplies that have been identified as needed. We will work with the Hispanic and immigrant population in Maine to forge ties with this partnership. Students may choose to enter into the fall, winter and spring sequence or the spring, summer and fall sequence.
Students who elect this rotation will need to spend at least 2 weeks in the Dominican Republic, probably in the second summer session (July or August) between their junior and senior years, or in extended winter session if the timing of their curriculum and prerequisite courses is in an alternate pattern. Students are encouraged, but not required, to go twice and may also complete 2 credits for their child health clinical lab in a non-partnerships course (NUR 316).
Each trip will cost about $1350- $1500 in extra transportation, lodging and travel costs. Because this is a major service project, many students since 1994 have been able to raise these funds not only from family and personal budgets, but also from USM financial aid, fundraisers, scholarships and service organizations. It is a big commitment but it is also a life-changing experience that you will never forget. You may e-mail Whitney with questions and/or pick up an Orientation Manual from the faculty office.
For questions or comments please contact us.