Spring break this year for 26 nursing and engineering faculty and students did not take place on the beaches of the Caribbean, but rather in the mountains and rural communities of Waslala, Nicaragua in the North Atlantic Autonomous region of Nicaragua.
The nursing students traveled there as part of their senior level health promotion practicum. Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy, Dr. Bette Mariani, and Professor Kimberly Connolly worked with the students in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Waslala to teach community health workers (CHWs) about common health problems and learn practical skills, such as taking blood pressures. The nursing students provided interactive educational sessions for the CHWs on topics such as, postpartum maternal health care, infectious diseases, eye emergencies, and blood pressure management.
In addition, their work supported the ongoing TeleHealth project, that began in 2010. The TeleHealth program enables the CHWs to have real-time communication with a healthcare provider. This will enable the CHWs to have professional support to meet the health needs of the members of their remote rural communities.