WRITER: ALISSA SWANGO
CONTACT: DEREK MAURER
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8964; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: Aug. 23, 1999
UI nursing students study abroad in Jamaica
NOTE EDITORS: Receipt of this release indicates that a
University of Iowa student from your area participated in the UI College of
Nursing's study abroad program this summer; a list of participants follows
at the end of this release.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Delivering babies and drawing blood
are hard enough skills for nursing students to master, but doing so in a foreign
culture without modern equipment was especially challenging for 11 University
of Iowa students who visited Jamaica this summer as part of the UI College
of Nursing's study abroad program.
(Student name) of (hometown) was one
of the 11 students who took part in the study abroad program.
The students and their faculty advisor, Nicollet Markovetz,
a certified nurse midwife and lecturer in the college, spent three weeks visiting
St. Thomas Parish, Jamaica's poorest region, located in the southeast corner
of the Caribbean nation.
"I have realized how important it is to care for people
of different cultures and learn to work with them," said Carolyn Eaton, a
recent graduate of the nursing college from West Des Moines.
Markovetz and the 11 students stayed in the nurses'
quarters of the parish's Princess Margaret Hospital. The Jamaicans openly
shared their space and living quarters, which had no air conditioning, hot
water or window screens. In return, the Iowa group took diapers, children's
clothing and textbooks to the hospital.
The students worked in all of the hospital's major
units, rotating through the maternity ward, pediatric unit, emergency room,
surgical unit, male and female wards, and clinics. They also accompanied nurses
making home visits in the community.
Coming from a medical environment where sterile conditions
reign and technology is quickly embraced, the students quickly learned how
to make do with the tools and working environment that were available at Princess
Margaret Hospital. After working in units without sophisticated equipment,
it surprised them to realize that technology is not always necessary, Eaton
said. She found it amazing to see what the Jamaicans could do with so little.
"The United States is 23rd in infant mortality rate
among industrialized nations," Markovetz noted. "We are not the best, and
we should have open minds so we can learn from everyone, even Third World
Senior nursing student Jesse Bueno of Muscatine remembers
dressing wounds and burns, assisting in the operating room, and drawing blood
with needles much bigger than those used in the United States. He found the
Jamaican people to be patient and giving, and enjoyed talking with them about
their lives. "I am a better person now seeing what it's like in a different
culture," he said.
Jamaica's beauty lies deeper than the attractions
sought by tourists, Bueno said. Returning to the parish and hospital after
weekend excursions to resorts in Port Antonio and Ocho Rios, Bueno "felt mad
because the resorts seem so fake as to what Jamaica is really like," he said.
"You don't see the other side."
The following individuals, listed by hometown, participated
in the College of Nursing's study abroad program:
ALGONA: Jill M. Miller
CEDAR RAPIDS: Carrie L. Krumholz
CRESTON: Jamie H. Johnson
IOWA CITY: Maggie Jo Fransen
MUSCATINE: Jesse G. Bueno
SHEFFIELD: Nicollet A. Markovetz (Faculty Advisor)
SIOUX CITY: Jeanne M. Noltze
WEST DES MOINES: Carolyn L. Eaton
LITTLETON: Natalie Kim Leddin
FREEPORT: Amanda C. Smith
JOLIET: Michelle M. Hakey
DELAWARE: Heather D. McElvain