USF Nursing graduate student experiences global healthcare in mission trip to Dominican Republic
University of South Florida College of Nursing graduate student, Renae Lucien, took a special mission trip to Sabana Grande de Boya in the Dominican Republic in July, 2012, where she provided primary care and well-woman exams, and pre-surgical clearance/consults to many in that community. Lucien went on this trip through Medical Ministry International (MMI), where she was a volunteer. MMI, first established in 1968, helps provide spiritual and physical health care around the world.Renae Lucien (3rd from left) with a patient, and two nurse practitioners in one of the neighboring villages during one of their mobile clinic days
During this trip, Lucien worked with the organization’s mobile clinic team where she helped teach small and large group health seminars on diabetes, prostate health, nutrition, medications, water and food safety. She also helped provide pre-surgical consults, exams, and medical clearance for the hospital-based surgery team.
“My trip to the Dominican Republic was just one experience in more than a decade of working in healthcare,” Lucien said. “Choosing midwifery, nursing, and now family practice, I have been gifted the opportunity to serve thousands of women, children, and families over the last 10 plus years. When I lay down to sleep each day, I do it with the confidence that I have done my best to give back the help I have received in my life.”
Lucien is currently working on her master’s degree as Family Nurse Practitioner at USF, and plans to graduate in December 2012. For the past two years, she has also been working as a registered nurse in a local pediatric emergency department.
USF Nursing students are encouraged to participate in university, college or community initiatives around the world, to expand their understanding of global health issues and increase the visibility of the USF College of Nursing internationally.
“Faculty and students who travel abroad bring that global perspective back to USF Health and help all of us to think differently,” said Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, College of Nursing Dean and Senior Associate Vice President for USF Health at the University of South Florida in a recent article about USF showcasing global health research, education, partnerships.
This was not Lucien’s first international mission trip. She said she has participated in other international healthcare efforts including a recent midwifery externship to Cartagena, Colombia, and a year-long internship with a Midwife in Torremolinos, Spain.
“These opportunities greatly influenced my global perspective on healthcare,” Lucien said. “I also believe strongly in the importance of service-learning. By providing much needed medical care to those with virtually no resources, I am able to re-focus on the heart of what’s important in our profession, caring for those in need.”
Her goal is to take another mission trip in Haiti, where she is originally from. “I have family in Port-Au-Prince, and would love the opportunity to provide medical care to a population with such great need.”
-POWER with Nursing-
Through POWER with Nursing, our Partnership Opportunities for Wellness, Education and Research, the USF College of Nursing’s initiatives with existing and expanding collaborations stretch across the region, nation and globe. Every day our students impact healthcare in Tampa Bay. Through Research Residencies, College of Nursing doctoral students collaborate with area hospitals to develop their own program of nursing research. We collaborate on grants with researchers from other healthcare disciplines, and students participate in global international educationa, clinical, and research experiences.