November 12, 2008

Guatemala Medical Mission Tour uses Community Grant to purchase otoscopes

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When the Center for Community Partnerships invited Case Western Reserve University departments and groups seeking charitable funding to apply for its new Community Outreach Program grants, they received dozens of applications. Groups that were starting new outreach initiatives, as well as those who wanted to continue ongoing programs, shared their stories of helping the community, and how additional funding would allow them to do even more.

Ten campus affiliates were selected to receive $1,000 each for the 2008-2009 academic year to continue their outreach work in the areas of Pre K-12, senior citizens, health, social service, community and economic development, and lifelong learning.

Each of the winning groups will be featured in an ongoing series. Learn more about Guatemala Medical Mission Tour from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing:

A group of students from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing's advanced practice nursing programs staffed a weeklong clinic earlier this month at a hospital in the Village of San Raymundo, Guatemala. The nursing students worked with the Refugee International organization, as well as nursing students from other universities.

Thanks to the grant and existing professional connections, the nursing school purchased four rechargeable otoscopes, devices that are used to examine a patient's ears, nose and eyes. Carol Savrin, associate professor of nursing, said the funding would help students expand their outreach during the Guatemala trip.

"Last year, all 10 students shared three otoscopes. People were waiting for service to occur. Much time is wasted at the clinic waiting for an otoscope to become available, and then moving the otoscopes from room to room. Our students see about 150 patients per day," Savrin explained.

The otoscopes are used to conduct basic check-ups and diagnose illnesses in both adults and children. The nursing group does the outreach work in Guatemala every year. "It's the final semester for our students, so they are able to do this kind of extensive work," Savrin said.

Patients come to this clinic from as much as four hours away by bus. The clinic serves most of the rural mountainous region around San Raymundo, and offers the nursing students an opportunity to use their hands-on autonomous clinical skills. In addition, it helps to increase their cultural competence. The nursing school plans to continue its Guatemala outreach by recruiting at least eight advanced practice students each year, along with several faculty members.

For more information contact Kimyette Finley, 216.368.0521.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, November 12, 2008 09:37 AM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, Community Outreach, Faculty, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, HeadlinesMain, Students, features

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