Ten Chamberlain College of Nursing students from the Addison, Chicago and Miramar campuses recently embarked on an International Nursing Service Project trip to Brazil.
We ended our first week here in Salvador, Brazil on a high note. Thursday, we spent the morning at an orphanage for abused children. These children were either abandoned by their mothers or abused by a family member. The students spent time feeding, bathing, assessing and playing with babies and toddlers.
This gave the house mother precious time to clean the babies’ cribs and rooms. Friday was spent at Faculdade Ruy Barbosa, where the students presented the U.S. healthcare system to 71 Brazilian nursing and physical therapy students. Kim, from the Addison campus, was so animated and funny that she received the loudest applause.
Then on Saturday, we drove to a favela, a Brazilian slum, where 100,000 people live in small tight places as high as three stories. The community warmly welcomed us with Portuguese songs. The students broke up into two groups and spent the morning visiting patients at home.
Sunday morning we were invited to a Catholic church for mass. We enjoyed the music and were blessed by the priest twice. Parishioners came up to the students to thank them for coming to help their people. We even got invited for some Brazilian coffee and snacks. The rest of the day was spent traveling to Castro Alves, a rural city three hours away.
One of best things about this Brazil trip is the inter-professional collaboration with the physical therapy school at Ruy Barbosa. Professor Renato Almeida brought two students along on the trip and taught all the students physical therapy assessments, while psychology Professor Stella Sarmento brought her behavior science knowledge. This exchange of information allowed for a more holistic approach to healthcare.
The ten wonderful Chamberlain students come from a variety of backgrounds and three different campuses—Addison, Chicago and Miramar. In the beginning, they hardly knew each other, but one week later, they are a team. What a wonderful Nurses’ Week gift for me! Happy Nurses’ Week!
By Germielynn Melendez
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