PA and Nursing Students Take Medical Mission Trip


Bethel nursing student Lauren Easterwood checks the blood pressure of a patient at the Santa Cruz clinic in Belize.

During Bethel University’s 2012 Spring Break a group of physician assistant and nursing students traveled to Belize to set up medical clinics and administer medical care. The group of 20 also consisted of Bethel faculty. The mission team organized four clinics in four different villages seeing close to 200 or more patients each day.

     Medical care included: assessment of nutritional status and overall health needs, administration of worm medication and vitamins, treatment for parasitic disease, nutritional deficiency, minor skin and respiratory infections, as well as more serious problems that required follow up care which was arranged for those patients. The team also provided education about hygiene and illness\disease prevention.

     “During the clinic experience, patients first registered at the triage table,” said Candace Salcido, one of the students who made the trip. “Their name, age, weight, and symptoms were recorded. Five treatment stations were set up each containing one physician assistant student and one nursing student, and we collaborated to administer care. Once families were registered they went to one of the treatment stations and received the needed medical attention. Before leaving, each family was given a Bible and a care package that included soap, washcloths, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toys, etc. We saw an estimated 700 patients, distributed 300 bibles to families, gave away hundreds of care packages, and showed the people of Belize that they are loved.”

     The medical team was hosted by Gaither Evangelistic Ministries headed by Randy Gaither.

     Team members included Dr. Joseph Hames, Bradley Dirks, Eugene Platt, Tammy Carter, Katherine Cummings, Emily Durrett, Amy Lilleboe, Brittany Meadows, Ashley Spess, Frederick Zasadny, Candace Salcido, Kasey Barna, Shaniece Bond, Brittany Dyer, Lauren Easterwood, Trent Hudson, Rachel McCollum, Jamie Spellings, Stacey Willis, and Cathy Yants.