Nursing and Health Information Management students in the School of Nursing and Health Professions traveled to Orange Walk District Belize for seven days in May as part of an interdisciplinary global healthcare course led by Drs. Susan Foster and Julie Baldwin. Students attended a medical orientation about the healthcare system in Belize and learned about the country’s electronic health record as well as nursing careers in Belize.
Students spent four days visiting in underserved communities providing healthcare services in makeshift clinics. Students worked with three doctors, a pharmacist, nurses and multiple interpreters in providing care as well as working with patient information documentation for Ministry of Health reporting.
Presentations consisting of information on common diseases in Belize and the history of the HIM profession were provided by the students. Activities included visiting a local elementary school with the distribution of donated toothbrushes and toothpaste to over 300 students and providing education on proper brushing techniques as well as a tour of a local hospital.
Students were treated with a visit to a local “medicine man” who shared his knowledge about the use of herbal medicine in the treatment of various health conditions. Students experienced a 45-minute boat ride up the New River and toured the Mayan Ruins at The Lamanai.
We wrapped up our trip with spending the day and night on Caye Caulker Island where students experienced snorkeling and swimming as well as the culture of Belize before returning home.