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Trip to Peru gives students a glimpse into their future as health care professionals

Catawba College

SALISBURY — Catawba College students, all members of Volunteers Around the World, traveled to Cusco, Peru for two weeks after fall semester classes concluded. The trip provided students with and opportunity to work first hand-in-hand with experienced local doctors performing triage, distributing medications and teaching local youth about hygiene. It also gave students an experience as close to being a practicing physician as is possible before they pursue future careers as nurses, physicians and other health care professionals.

Volunteers met patients as they came into a clinic, taking their personal and medical history and recording their current symptoms. They recorded all of the information for the doctor’s review, and also took blood pressure readings, analyzed blood sugar levels, and took height and weight measurements and temperature readings.

Students were also able to sit right next to the doctor and listen as they met with patients, diagnosed conditions and prescribed treatment.Once the doctors had prescribed medications, students were able to count out the prescriptions under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Then, they assisted the pharmacist as they distributed the medications to the patient and explained to the patient how the medication should be taken.





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