Graduating Nursing Students Help Haiti
It would be the last Spring Break for Wegmans School of Nursing seniors Morgan Ax and Julia Schliff, and they had a different kind of trip in mind. They traveled together on a 10-day medical mission trip to Haiti with Luke's Mission, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those affected by the earthquake that devastated Haiti last year.
Ax and Schliff met the founder of the organization, April Perry, when they traveled to the Global Missions Health Conference with Dr. Christine Birnie from the Wegmans School of Pharmacy in November of 2010. After listening to Perry's presentations about her work as a nurse in Haiti, they were inspired, and signed up to help on the March trip.
They traveled with a group comprised of nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners, and other volunteers, and worked in the pharmacy where they saw a plethora of patients each day. Ax says they treated dehydrated patients, conducted malaria testing, and prescribed each patient with anti-worm medications.
In addition, they worked in a mobile clinic in the mountains of Saint Antiene, treating patients who didn't have access to a regular doctor. They also traveled to a hospital that is run by the Sisters of Mother Teresa in Les Cayes, and paid a visit to an orphanage in Jacmel.
"It was an experience of a lifetime," said Ax. "It was wonderful to get hands-on experience and to be challenged by the language barrier, as well as being able to educate patients about the medicine that they were prescribed. Not a day goes by that I don't think of the many Haitians who have impacted my life."
Morgan Ax treats a patient in a Haitian clinic.
Julia Schliff helps a young patient with eye drops.