Back to the Basics: Guatemala trip challenges nursing students to learn new diagnostic techniques, empowers future practice


Left: Students and faculty from the College of Nursing brought toys along with medical supplies. Center: DNP student Norman Njihi (center) examines a young child in El Quimal La Joya. Right: A pine bough and rose petal path led to the schoolhouse, which served as a makeshift clinic. (Photos courtesy of Natalie Murphy)

Learning how to care for families rather than individuals was just one rare challenge Njihi and 11 of his College of Nursing peers faced this January in Guatemala. The trip was the inaugural excursion in what will be biannual study abroad opportunities.

Every third year, the College of Nursing will return to the same villages and serve six communities in total.

Organized by Interim Associate Dean for Academic Programs Natalie Murphy in conjunction with the nonprofit Nursing Heart, Inc., the student nurses visited the indigenous communities of El Quimal La Joya and Alotenango, where they set up primary care and women’s health clinics.

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