Health Care

    In Choluteca, it all started with nursing. Angie Overholt, a WGM missionary and an advanced practice nurse graduate of the College of Nursing, and Professor Emeritus Dr. Kathleen Stone began collaborating in 2000 to facilitate an Ohio State University College of Nursing study abroad cultural immersion experience for undergraduate and graduate nursing students. The outreach has grown into an interdisciplinary health care team of 36, including nurses, physicians, a pharmacist, nursing students, medical students, pharmacy students and Spanish major students.  Students are prepared for the experience by attending a 3 credit hour course on Saturday mornings in the months of January and February.  Students are provided a hands-on service learning experience over 9 days during semester break in March. These students work in 6 rural villages and the Hospital del Sur. The nurse practitioner students, medical students, undergraduate nursing students, and pharmacy students work in collaborative teams under faculty supervision to deliver care to 1,600-1,800 patients over 5 working days. Students present health care posters in Spanish on a relevant health care topic to the Hondurans as they await care in the clinic. Select students prepare an oral teaching session to 30 Honduran lay health care workers. The undergraduate nursing students work in the medical-surgical men’s and women’s wards and the pediatric ward of the Hospital del Sur. This experience has significantly influenced the careers of students, many of whom return to the United States to work with underserved populations, while others have worked in global health initiatives.  

One of the positive aspects of the nursing team is that many of the students who participate as undergraduates return as graduate students.  The experience of second-time students adds stability and continuity to the team.