Catawba College students, all members of Volunteers Around the World, traveled to Cusco, Peru for two weeks in December, December 9-23, after fall semester classes concluded. The trip provided the students with the opportunity to work first hand-in-hand with experienced local doctors, performing triage, distributing medications, and teaching local youth about hygiene. The trip also gave students an experience as close to being a practicing physician as is possible before they pursue future careers as nurses, physicians, and other health care professionals.
Students were able to gain hands-on experience in all four of the following areas:
Volunteers meet patients as they came into a clinic, taking their personal and medical history and recording their current symptoms. They recorded all of the information for the doctor's review.
Measure Vital Statistics
Taking blood pressure readings, analyzing blood sugar levels, taking height and weight measurements and temperature readings.
Shadow a Doctor
Students were able to sit right next to the doctor and listen as they meet with patients, diagnosed conditions, and prescribed treatment.
Manage the Pharmacy
Once the doctors had prescribed medications, students were able to count out the prescriptions, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Then, they assisted the pharmacist as they distributed the medications to the patient and explained to the patient how the medication should be taken.
Catawba students who made the trip included Lee Brackman of Athens, Ga., President of the Volunteers Around the World/Catawba College Chapter; Jay Minter of Sanford, Vice President; Kiersten Peck of Indian Trail, Treasurer; Nicole Duncan of Charlotte, Secretary; and Alexis Abillar of East Bend, Fundraising Chair; along with other club members including Robert Morrison of Warrenton, Va.; Crista Clayton of Jacksonville Beach, Fla.; Sierrah McCarthy of Asheville; Brooke Applebaum of Greensboro; Sara Barbee of Salisbury; Madison Moore of Westfield; Becky Frost of Crofton, Md.; and Kristen Bowers of Salisbury. Assistant Professor of Sport and Health Science and faculty advisor to Catawba's chapter of Volunteers Around the World, Dr. Victor Romano, and Assistant Professor of Athletic Training, Carrie Graham, accompanied the students on the trip.