My Global Health Experience in Kenya – Changing Lives Around the World
Written on behalf of Katie Kerns, Chamberlain University Global Health Scholarship Recipient
In March 2018, as a student in Chamberlain University's RN to BSN Online Degree Completion Option, I had the privilege of going on my first medical mission trip through Chamberlain’s Global Health Education Program. I knew it would be an incredible opportunity to go on a Global Health trip as part of my curriculum at Chamberlain, and thanks to the Empower Scholarship Fund, I had half of my trip costs covered.
Along with other students and faculty, we provided care for almost 2,000 men, women and children in the Kenyan village of Samburu and two of the largest slums, Korogocho and Mukuru, where people live in very poor conditions.
We shared nursing and medical skills with about 20 Thika students as well as 35 community healthcare volunteers. In addition, we also taught community healthcare volunteers about good hygiene practices, alcohol and drug addiction, safe sex, CPR and diseases such as TB and malaria.
I saw firsthand how a serious lack in resources required a certain creativity when caring for patients. I knew early on, we could never take anything for granted as we assisted in treating the people of Kenya suffering from a variety of malaise.
I remember well, working along with the team to take care of a boy with a mass in his jaw. We treated a woman with breast cancer, a man with eye cancer and dealt with other illnesses that were found in the region. It was an incredible experience to be able to consult with the area doctors as part of a care team to determine the best course of treatment.
I have always had an interest in global health, and look forward to completing more trips similar to Kenya in my future. Not only did I learn a great amount about community health and nursing, I learned so much more about myself and the importance of being part of a diverse team.
Together, we laughed, cried, gave, shared, learned and grew. I made friends for life and will never forget what I learned in Kenya in two short weeks. I know I will be able to take in all experiences from this opportunity and put it forth in my nursing career while I bring Chamberlain Care® to life for my patients as I give back to people and communities.
Thanks to this experience, I was able to advance my skills while fueling my passion for global health and providing for communities in need.
Interested in learning more about how you can advance your nursing skills as you venture beyond the classroom and local community and gain clinical experience through a full spectrum social and cause-related nursing service trips? Visit us at chamberlain.edu/globalhealth.