RAYJON NURSING AND INTER-PROFESSIONAL TRIPS
The purpose of the Nursing and Inter–Professional Trip is
→ To raise awareness in our communities of the situation in developing countries
→ To administer “hands on” basic nursing care in poor remote areas where people have minimal to no access to health care
→ To evaluate health care in a developing country
When Georgian College nursing staff took eight students and a physician to Dominican Republic in 2002, they never dreamed the program would grow into a massive volunteer undertaking repeated annually. The trip was originally designed for nursing students to acquire hands-on experience in community nursing. After a few students came back to tell their stories, word spread fast.
Now, both students and members of the medical community participate to assess and treat more than 2,500 people over a three-week period. Those attending include students from Georgian Nursing program, an inter-professional health team including paramedics, doctors, nurses, teachers, practical nurses, chiropractor, public health specialist, and nurse practitioners.
Other trips include an inter-professional team of students and faculty representing opticianry, massage, paramedic, nursing, dental and early childhood education/professional programs.
Nursing students work side-by-side with paramedic and massage therapy students to give a well-rounded care experience.
Students provide overall health assessments, wound care, respiratory care, musculoskeletal care, pain and parasite medication and more. Visits take place to local schools and provide much needed supplies and education to children. Nursing and paramedic students provide basic first-aid education and dental health promotion.
“The need is very great in the Dominican Republic,” says Sheila Wojcik, a faculty member and volunteer organizer. “There could be hundreds of people lined up each day waiting to see someone at our clinics – the idea is mind boggling.” Everyone is a volunteer and must not only pay their own way, but also bring medical supplies with them.
“It has been an amazing journey,” says faculty member Sylvia vander Weg. “From a small group of eight students, the project has expanded and grown into this huge adventure. I look forward each year to traveling with our special faculty team to the Dominican Republic and having the opportunity to introduce students to life and health care in a developing country. It grounds me as to what is important in life and I know this is the work I am called to do.”
COSTS AND FUNDING
All costs during the trip (transportation, meals and accommodation) are covered by the traveling group. Everyone is a volunteer and must not only pay their own way, but also bring medical supplies with them. Long before the trip, students start visiting doctors’ offices, hospitals, supply companies and pharmacies to ask for donations.
Students must pay approximately $1,700 to pay for their airfare and clean, yet humble, accommodations in Dominican Republic. They also need to collect a variety of medical supplies, pain medications, antibiotic ointments, wheelchairs, crutches, canes and baby items.
The trip fee does not include any medical preparation costs for individual, travel or out of country travel insurance. Rayjon and Georgian College provide detailed instructions for pre-trip medical preparation.
A receipt for most of the costs will be issued for tax refund as a charitable expense.
CODE OF CONDUCT
To ensure a meaningful and satisfying experience, each participant is expected to commit to an established program for trip presentation and follow up, and to abide by RAYJON’s Code of Conduct during the trip. Adherence to the Code of Conduct will minimize risks to personal safety, health, and security, honour and respect the local customs and maintain Rayjon’s reputation both at home and abroad.
Students who are interested in going on a trip should ensure that their parents/guardians fully understand RAYJON’s Code of Conduct. To prevent any misunderstandings in the trip guidelines and rules, parents/guardians are encouraged to take part in the pre-trip preparations.
Alcohol is not part of a Trip. Smokers must be considerate to the non-smoking participants and to the people of the host countries, and if possible, should be restricted to the hotel / guest houses.
For safety’s sake, participants or small groups will not be free to wander around alone.