Students learn about cultural differences through medical missions

This spring, 12 Saint Luke’s College students will take a missions trip to Nicaragua. The missions program is part of the two-hour elective, Global Issues and Community Health. Students will be accompanied by Assistant Professor Vicki Bennett, Instructor Laura Grier, Chief Student Affairs Officer Marcia Ladage and Cindy Moore, International Field Director from Mercy and Truth Medical Missions.
Before their trip, students will learn about the health, poverty, tropical diseases and other issues facing Nicaraguans.
While in Nicaragua, students will teach about hand hygiene, proper toothbrushing, safe food handling, bullying, family planning and other relevant topics to rural elementary students.
They will work with the community on water quality by testing the water and constructing a handwashing station, conducting community health screenings, and visiting regional clinics. 
“The opportunity to work in an emerging country goes way beyond classroom learning,” said Bennett. “The students typically leave with a deeper appreciation of the things they take for granted, including access to education and health care.”
Students keep a journal of their trip and have daily group debriefings on what they have learned and experienced. Their class will culminate with a presentation at the College on the first day of the fall semester, August 30, 2018.
“I am excited to have medical missions back at the College,” said Bennett. “Students retain a heightened appreciation of cultural differences and health care disparities with these experiences.”
Next spring 2019, students will be offered another elective to travel to a Native American reservation over spring break.