These past two weeks of practicum have been so eye opening and fruitful! For those of you know don’t know, the Go Ed study abroad program takes a month off of classes so that students are able to serve/intern in different areas of the country. For the whole month of October I am serving at African New Life Ministries in Kayonza, Rwanda (Kayonza is about an hour east of Kigali). Here I am interning as a school nurse with two other nursing majors, Alex and Hannah, who are also from Messiah. We are living at the guest house on campus and we are being spoiled with our own rooms, hot showers, and wifi 24/7. The staff of New Life are all amazing! Everyone is so welcoming and friendly, and I am so blessed to be a part of such an impactful organization, even if it is just for a short while! African New Life Ministries has five branches around the country located in Kigali, Kayonza, Bugesera, Kageyo, and Rubavu. They provide services including, the Kigali Dream Center, New Life Bible Church, New Life Christian Academy, the street children’s feeding and vocational program, and tailoring and hairdressing programs for vulnerable women. Specifically, I am serving at New Life Christian Academy in Kayonza, where there are a total of 2,000 students. Most of the children here are orphans or poor children that are given opportunities for education, medication, community and spiritual development through ANL. There are 6 children homes on the school property so many of the kids get their basic needs met through the school and their personal sponsors. Over half of the children at the school are sponsored, which is such a blessing! If you are interested in learning more about African New Life Ministries please visithttp://www.africanewlife.org/
So like I said, for the past two weeks at ANL, we have been working with Nurse Doreen. Our goal for the month is to give all 2,000 students physicals! This entails assessing their weight, height, sight, physical appearance, reading blood pressure, listening to heart and lung sounds, and looking for signs/symptoms of any present disease. We do about 50 physical assessments each day, so we are very busy! Along with that we are assisting Nurse Doreen with treating sick students. Most students come in suffering from common ailments such as headaches, stomach aches, coughs, allergies and wounds. Some more serious cases that we’ve dealt with are stomach ulcers, asthma attacks, scabies and students fainting. We will also be giving counselling for young girls at the end of the month. We are definitely learning a lot about the practical side of nursing through giving out medication and assisting with other treatment!
I am really enjoying my time here at African New Life! I love caring for the students and getting to know them, as well as the staff, on a personal level. They are such a joy to be around! Although Africans have a very different approach to nursing, this experience has definitely solidified my dream of being a nurse (maybe even overseas, who knows)! I cannot wait to see what these last two weeks of practicum bring!