Article Content

Despite the trend toward a global health perspective, there are limited examples of international clinical experiences for graduate nurse practitioner (NP) students. After learning about a nonprofit organization and its work, the possibility of a potential international clinical placement was identified. The author and an NP student joined the team for an 8-day trip, which resulted in the piloting of the short-term mission as a clinical placement for NP students. The team members came from both the United States and Honduras and represented multiple health professions and support roles. More than 40 hours was spent in direct patient care; the team cared for 462 primary care patients. The geographic area served by the nonprofit organization is remote. The people who live in this area have limited access to care when volunteer teams are not in the area. Patients often travel 3 or more hours to get to the volunteer clinics. The main facility includes individual examination rooms; the satellite sites were more rustic (single open-air classroom). The benefits for NP students are student satisfaction, working with an interprofessional team, providing patient care in a resource-poor environment, patient care experiences with common chronic diseases and uncommon illnesses, professional networking, increased knowledge of the Honduran culture, and a deeper understanding of the socio-environmental determinants of health. For this pilot, a formal course was developed.

 

By Emily R. Barnes, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, Clinical Associate Professor, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV,mailto:ebarnes@hsc.wvu.edu.