Addison campus student Aileen Russo will join 13 other Chamberlain College of Nursing students and two alumni on an International Nursing Service Project trip to the Philippines, departing Jan. 9. During the course of the trip, the group will provide care in Manila, provinces of Isabela, Neuva Ecija and Pampanga.
Aileen, along with Addison student Danielle Jocson, will be providing updates from the trip on their blog. She answers our question below:
Why did you want to go on this trip?
This mission poses a unique opportunity for me to be able to use the skills and knowledge that I have learned thus far in the program. I’m certain that immersing myself in the culture and the environment will challenge me in ways I probably never thought possible – both physically, as well as emotionally.
While I may not necessarily be able to speak the dialect, I honestly believe that taking care of other human beings has a language all its own. In fact, when it is done right it often needs no translation at all. It is an absolute dream come true to be given the chance to take part in this incredible project!
What are you expecting to be the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for me is going to be keeping my emotions in check. Being Filipino-American, helping out thousands of Filipinos of all ages who cannot afford basic healthcare will be hard to swallow; to look around and the people you see remind you of my mother, father, and brother. It is my goal to not cry out of empathy every single day.
How have you prepared for the trip?
So far, I have been actively seeking donations of items to bring, shopping for the things that we will need while we’re there, ordering the required books for the class, getting immunizations, completing nursing skills checklists, trying to learn more of the language from my parents and blogging about the whole thing.
What do you hope to take away from the experience?
I hope to gain confidence despite my inability to speak or understand the language/dialect fluently. I wish to improve my ability to assess a situation and make sound decisions quickly. Through repetition, I seek to become proficient in nursing skills and tough situations. I am determined to be a great team player and be part of the solution than the problem.
Above all, I hope to gain a better and deeper understanding of what it is like to live in the shoes of someone who was born into poverty and raised in some of the most unfortunate of circumstances. I also want to see and learn from my very own culture in the rawest of forms.
Read more posts from the International Nursing Service Project trip!