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Cambodia and Guatemala Get Critical Health Care From Belmont University Medical Teams

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A BU Physical Therapy Graduate Team Works with Children in Guatemala City in March and a BU Nursing Team Cares for Indigent in Phnom Penh in May
This spring, in an effort to address the impending, international health care crisis, particularly in poor, developing countries, students and instructors from two of Belmont University’s Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing have stepped up to provide critically-needed health care to remote parts of the third world where medical practices and professionals are frighteningly scarce, and scores of suffering people have almost nowhere to turn.
For the first time in Belmont history, 11 physical therapy graduate students and a clinical instructor have committed to spending their spring break (March 3 – 10, 2007) in the only hospital PT wing in all of Guatemala City (population 5 million plus); and for the third year in a row, a Belmont team of nursing students will care for the suffering people of Cambodia at Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope in Phnom Penh (May 10-31, 2007).
Both the Belmont student nursing and graduate student PT teams will engage in teaching and training medical professionals in more advanced health care practices; and care for the indigent in those cities. At the same time, they’ll gain an extraordinary education in service, skills development and cultural immersion.
BU’s PT Grad Students Go to Guatemala City
At the Rehabilitation and Infectious Disease Hospital for Children (Hospital Infantil de Infectologia y Rehabilitacion) in Guatemala City, Guatemala, the Belmont PT graduates will work with: children with developmental delays as a result of having gone untreated for normal childhood diseases and trauma patients—accident victims or those whose illnesses have led to brain damage. They’ll also be teaching modern physical therapy to Guatemalan doctors and nurses.
“The PT team will not only use the skills they’ve gained at Belmont in service to others, but the education they’ll receive will be life changing,” Sheila Gaffney, adjunct PT professor and clinical instructor at Belmont, said. “And the fact that grad students are doing this is a rarity.”
BU’s Nursing Students Continue Giving Hope in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
On May 10 – 31, Belmont University will take its third team of nursing students to Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to help teach and train Cambodian medical professionals in more advanced health care practices and care for the suffering people of Cambodia—among them victims of the HIV AIDS epidemic, land mines and poverty—the residual effects of mass genocide by an extremist communist regime 30 years ago. The trip is the third of its kind since 2005 and is part of an elective, international clinical course taught by assistant professor at Belmont University’s School of Nursing, Sharon Dowdy, and Belmont alumna and clinical instructor, Susan Taplin. Taplin spent two years of residency at Sihanouk Hospital as director of nursing between 2005 and 2007.
To access the Guatemala blog between March 3-10, go to: http://forum.belmont.edu/ptmission.
To access the Cambodian images and story, click here: http://www.belmont.edu/press/pdf/pitch.AL.pdf. The Cambodia trip blog can be accessed between May 10-31, URL to be determined.