Nursing Students Bring Medical Care to Remote Areas of Dominican Republic Photo

Cristine Eudy, DNP, Dean of the Louise Harkey School of Nursing at Cabarrus College, and seven Associate Degree in Nursing students traveled to the Dominican Republic in October 2023 to provide much-needed medical care to remote areas of the country. The trip came about because Dr. Eudy had participated in a similar mission trip the year before and knew it would be a valuable learning opportunity for nursing students. 

Dr. Eudy and the students flew into Santo Domingo, took a bus to San Juan de la Maguana, which was their home base for the week, and traveled one to two hours each day to set up mobile medical clinics in remote villages where residents have little or no access to medical care. The students taught children about hand washing and teeth brushing, set up vision stations for adults and provided reading glasses as needed, triaged patients before they saw doctors and other providers who were part of the trip, and conducted home visits to patients who couldn’t walk to the clinic.  

Morgan Gifford, who graduated from Cabarrus College in December, and Avery Butterfield, who will graduate in May, reflected on the trip and its impact. 

"I enjoyed learning about a new culture and getting to know the staff and our interpreters. I loved being able to help others in these communities physically and spiritually. It’s truly eye opening to see how others live in different parts of the world. Simple things to us like food, water and medicine are life changing to others. I will never take those things for granted.”

“I met some of the coolest people, grew closer with some of my peers who I didn’t even know before, and learned so much, whether this was nursing skills, fun facts about their community or learning a little bit of Spanish. I would go on the trip again and again if I could. “

Morgan Gifford, RN, ’23
Associate of Science in Nursing

“The opportunity to experience and be welcomed into a different culture was the most meaningful part of the trip to me. I felt so honored to experience a world that is completely different from mine, yet also enjoy the commonalities we were able to find. All of this happened while helping those in need and putting the skills we have learned in school into practice. I will forever cherish this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

“A major takeaway was learning how to think outside the box. There were several times where we had to improvise in a situation where the materials or environment did not fit our needs. I learned how to adjust and brainstorm how to best help the community.”

“My favorite part was the relationships we built with the staff and team there. During our long days, we were able to share meaningful conversations about our lives and backgrounds. The relationships formed were also vital to communicating and establishing trust between us and the patients.”

Avery Butterfield, ’24
Associate of Science in Nursing