Heroes for Health: Past, Present, and Future

From WLC graduate and Heroes for Health Camp Coordinator Melissa Krug RN, BSN:

Day two of the Heroes for Health Camp at Wisconsin Lutheran College has come and gone. Again, the day was packed with activities. The students learned how to help someone who is choking and how to give an infant CPR. The most exciting part of the day was an afternoon field trip to an area nursing home.

This afternoon the students had an opportunity to play games with some of the residents at Alexian Village Health and Rehabilitation Center. Each year the students enjoy this field trip. For many of them it is there first visit to a nursing home interacting with someone who is not a family member. It was incredible to watch as an entire room of women – young campers, college-aged volunteers, and the aging residents – interacted and told stories of the past and shared dreams for the future.

As we wrapped up the camp today, I asked each camper to share their thoughts for the day in one word. Here are just a couple of the words the campers came up with: educational, awesome, historical, challenging, engaging.

Tomorrow the students are looking forward to spending some time in the nursing lab and continuing to build on the skills they have learned this week.

Heroes for Health Camp: Our Future Nurses

From WLC graduate and Heroes for Health Camp Coordinator Melissa Krug RN, BSN:

While the Wisconsin Lutheran College nursing students take a break for the summer, the nursing lab continues to be filled with activity. Today was the first day of the Heroes for Health camp. This year is the seventh year that the WLC nursing program has invited middle school students to step into the shoes of a nurse for a week and explore the joys and challenges of a career in professional nursing.

Today the students learned about first aid and safety and how to provide CPR. The students had many opportunities to practice the new skills they learned. I am sure many of them will return to camp tomorrow with sore arms. This summer we have seven students participating in camp. The students are all asking great questions and eager to learn more. Each day the students are asked to write down three things they learned. One student wrote that they learned, “how to keep a child safe by preventing injuries.”







As the week moves forward, the students will continue to practice the skills they learned today and develop new ones. The students will have the opportunity to? learn how to take vital signs, help someone who is choking and even observe a human heart and brain. We are looking forward to a very exciting week!

Respite Day 2013

From Prof. Amanda Passint:

On Saturday, September 28, The Wisconsin Lutheran College School of Nursing collaborated with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and hosted WLC’s second Respite Day event for children with special needs and their siblings. We had about 65 children and over 100 volunteers. It was a such wonderful opportunity for these children to enjoy the day while their parents received a much needed break from the constant demands of care-giving. This respite day not only gave the WLC students the chance to learn about special needs, but supported the servant-leadership qualities that are developed and supported within WLC students on and off campus.

Activities at the respite day included games, face painting, sports, bingo, music, and a show put on by Kohl?s Wildlife Theater.

It was a wonderful opportunity to see the nursing program reaching out and partnering with the community, as well as partnering with other disciplines around at WLC, including special education.
Thank you to all who participated in making this event successful.

Reflections on a trip to Zambia

Below are some thoughts I received from Carne Andrews, MSN, APNP, Nurse Practitioner, who participated in the WLC Global Health course in Zambia in May:

Realizing that words will never quite capture my appreciation for your friendship and the opportunity to participate in this year’s trip, please know I feel humbled, blessed, and enriched in faith, compassion, and hope because of your passion to make this world a better place for our Zambian sisters and brothers.

It is so meaningful to me to have witnessed how the Lord is blessing the work of the church, missionaries, and healthcare workers in Zambia and the WLC Nursing Program and students through the building of relationships and trust. This truly reflects the Christ-like servant leadership model to an extent I’ve not previously personally experienced. Thank you.

Respite day

On Saturday, September 22, The Wisconsin Lutheran College School of Nursing collaborated with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to host a respite day event on campus for children with special needs and their siblings.

It was great to see the nursing program reaching out and partnering with the community, as well as partnering with other disciplines around campus.

Activities at the respite day included games, face painting, sports, bingo, music, and the highlight, Milwaukee Brewers mascot Bernie Brewer!

We had about 75 children attend this event and more than 140 volunteers. This respite day not only gave the WLC students the chance to learn about special needs, but supported the servant-leadership qualities that are developed and supported within WLC students on and off campus.

Thank you to all who participated and made this day special!!

Nursing lab open houses

This spring the Wisconsin Lutheran college Class of 2013 BSN students hosted two open houses in the nursing lab. It was a wonderful opportunity for WLC staff, faculty, and students to view the simulation lab.

Guests, including Pathways to College students, were able to interact with our nursing students and were able to see our simulators in action. We had a great turnout and had received positive feedback from the visitors.

Junior WLC student Peter B. commented, “As a music major, I don’t really get out of the Fine Arts building much, so the nursing open house was like an opportunity to explore a foreign land. Not usually venturing into Generac Hall, I was not aware of the highly technological equipment that is kept there. The simulations playing the role of patients were state-of-the-art, with realistic functions like blinking and breathing! Being a music major, it is definitely interesting to think of studying and learning in such a hands-on way!”

Junior Sarah H. said, “I was very impressed with the nursing students and their knowledge. They were more than willing to show me how to listen to the heart sounds. Overall, I could tell the students knew their stuff and were great ambassadors for the school and the nursing program.”

Service and fitness go hand in hand for second degree nursing students

This past weekend two WLC nursing students, junior Rachel Borchard and sophomore Maria Alonte, participated in fitness events that helped worthy organizations.

Rachel (left) won the all-around women?s trophy in the 5K of Gary?s Gallop, in support of Warriors Athletics, with a time of 21.55 and a 7.05 pace.

Maria (back row, second from left) was invited to the Ultimate Ringer Tennis Event in Las Vegas, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society (ACS). As a tennis pro, she was a ringer who played doubles with individuals who paid a donation to the ACS in order to play with her. Maria played the same role in a fundraising event at the French Open in summer 2011.

Of note is that both of these students hold Bachelor of Science degrees in exercise science from other universities. However, after working in that field for several years, each discovered a calling to become a registered nurse.

Students react to Bevan Baker’s visit

On March 7, 2012, Milwaukee Commissioner of Health Bevan Baker captivated nursing student, as well as community audiences, bringing to light the Fetal Infant Mortality Report for Milwaukee. As he described the devastation of infant mortality racial disparities in Milwaukee, he also exhorted Christians to help reduce the stress of racism in our community. His compassionate demeanor and public testimony of Christian faith were inspiring and motivating. – Prof. Rebekah Carey

WLC Nursing students with Mr. Bevan Baker, Milwaukee Commissioner of Health

WLC Nursing students react to Baker’s visit:

When I first learned about the opportunity to listen to Bevan Baker, the Milwaukee Health Commissioner, regarding infant mortality, I expected to be lectured on facts. What I learned, however, was so much more than mere information. What struck me the most was the focus of Commissioner Baker’s life and work. He made it clear that only through Christian love and service, the devastation of Milwaukee’s infant mortality rates could be changed. His faith was shown throughout his presentation, and this not only gave me confidence in him, it also motivated me to make a difference and let my Christian light shine throughout my nursing career. - Kayla W., BSN class of 2013

It was a great privilege to have Dr. Baker come speak to us on Milwaukee’s number one health issue, infant mortality. He was so passionate about the topic and it was incredible to hear him give the statistics – there truly is a problem right here in our very own city! These infant mortality rates are nothing to be proud of here in Milwaukee and something needs to be done. As a future nurse it opened my eyes and heart even more to this issue. I would love to someday be a part of helping to find a solution, whether it is educating the community or educating my patient prior to discharge – I feel nurses can help play a big role. - Rachel B., BSN class of 2013

I am beyond impressed and motivated after hearing the Health Commissioner of Milwaukee, Bevan Baker, speak on Wednesday. Dr. Baker delivered a powerful speech to the students and faculty at Wisconsin Lutheran College on the devastating health disparity of infant mortality and racial and ethnic disparities in Milwaukee. In the past year there were 122 infant deaths and 67 stillbirths in Milwaukee. The overall infant mortality rate was 11.1 compared to the Wisconsin rate of 6.0. The Black infant mortality rate was 14.7, the White infant mortality rate was 5.9, and the Hispanic infant mortality rate was 8.8. These shocking statistics certainly create feelings of uneasiness and sadness. However, this motivated my classmates and me to have the social, ethical, and spiritual dedication to do something about this health disparity. Dr. Baker asked each one of us to help him to begin a new trend towards reducing infant mortality and reduced racial and ethnic disparities. I was truly amazed to hear Dr. Baker, a public health figure, boldly bring in a spiritual perspective on this distressing topic. - Leanna M., BSN class of 2013

The WLC nursing program recently had the opportunity to listen to a presentation about community health by the Milwaukee Commissioner of Health, Bevan Baker. The presentation was eye-opening in regards to the infant mortality rate here in Milwaukee. More importantly, however, the presentation was eye-opening in regards to community health. Community health is complex. Commissioner Baker effectively reminded the WLC community that it is part of the Milwaukee community and as such WLC has a great opportunity. WLC can be a light to other colleges and organizations in general by being directly involved in community health. WLC already has connections to the community through the Granville neighborhood health center where work is being done to help the underprivileged of the Milwaukee community. Commissioner Baker?s presentation was a refreshing reminder that each and every one of us is part of the Milwaukee community therefore it is our responsibility to work towards a more healthy community. - Dan M., BSN class of 2013

Clinic tour

We have had two interesting days in Zambia as we saw very nice living conditions yesterday in a home in Lusaka and the exact opposite today in the bush outside of the city. We celebrated African Freedom Day yesterday with an enjoyable afternoon at the home of Judith, the head nurse at Beit Cure International Hospital where the students spent part of their clinical time. Judith and her family have a very nice home and they welcomed us with open arms (literally!). She also invited other staff from the hospital, which made the afternoon extra special.

WLC students at the Mwembezhi Clinic

Today we traveled to Mwembezhi to see the first Lutheran church (Martin Luther) established in Zambia in the 1950s, as well as the rural health clinic where Professor Carey spent three years serving as a nurse. According to Professor Carey, the road conditions have improved greatly from what they were, but the last several miles of the trip were on a very bumpy, dusty road.

The rural clinic is very busy, serving more than 2,000 people every month. They offer care for pregnant women, infants and children, and medicines for HIV patients, among other healthcare services. Professor Carey enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces from her time at the clinic.

After a tour of the clinic by Jackson Kalekwa, clinical officer, we took a short walk down the road to see the homes where Professor Carey and the missionaries lived. Now the clinic is completely run by local Zambians and the homes are rented to local people as well. We then walked in the opposite direction to the home of Grey and Catherine Bili who prepared an authentic African lunch for us. The home was small, but Catherine creatively arranged the room and table so that our large group fit inside comfortably for the meal. The hospitality was unbeatable!

We will be wrapping up our trip this weekend with a blood pressure screening on the seminary grounds tomorrow morning and then taking a driving tour of Lusaka.

A trip to a local market is scheduled for Saturday morning and in the afternoon we will be attending the graduation of the ten seminary students.

On Sunday morning we will travel to one of Pastor Wendland’s bush churches for the service before returning to Lusaka in the afternoon and packing our bags for an early departure for the airport on Monday morning. After a layover in London on Monday night, we will be back in the United States on Tuesday afternoon.

I hope all of the readers have enjoyed keeping up with our trip as much as I have enjoyed sharing the stories through this blog. The students will definitely have many things to share, countless pictures to show, and souvenirs that will remain as keepsakes. However, their best remembrances of the trip will be the memories they will always keep with them of their time in the special country of Zambia.

Thank you for your support and prayers. God’s blessings to you from Lusaka, Zambia.

Safari in Zambia

We returned to Lusaka late yesterday afternoon after spending a very enjoyable weekend in Livingstone. Friday’s trip down there was supposed to take six hours by bus, but three breakdowns lengthened the trip to 12 hours. We arrived safely though, at 9:00 p.m., having quite a story to share about our experience. This included finding bathroom facilities in the “bush,” meeting many nice Zambians along the way, listening to several hours of Christian music (chosen by our bus driver), watching six Zambians change a bus tire, and driving the last hour through a rainstorm – even though it is supposedly the dry season here and it never rains during the dry season.

On Saturday morning we were up before the sun for our game drive (AKA safari). We were greeted at the entrance of the park by impala (deer) and the cameras came out in full force. Little did we know that there are impala everywhere! We eventually saw warthogs, baboons, monkeys, birds, lizards, a hippo, and elephants. We also got a special treat – the chance to get out of our vehicles and walk up to an area to view rhinos. An amazing experience!

WLC nursing students at the Zambezi River

In the afternoon we headed to Victoria Falls. Our pictures and video and stories will never be able to capture the full essence of the experience. The water is exceptionally high right now, so the force of the water was absolutely amazing. The spray of water is so strong that when people stand along the observation areas they get completely soaked. Ponchos are available for rent, but the students went without and enjoyed the downpour.

We also got the opportunity to do some shopping from vendors at the Falls and in Livingstone. It was an interesting experience trying to negotiate prices and convert kwacha to dollars in our heads. Coasters, small carved animals, bowls, and jewelry were the most popular items for purchase.

Today we were back to clinicals – one group at the children’s hospital, the other at a hospital for those with mental illness. The students are learning about nursing care from a very different perspective than what they see in the United States. What is not so different though, is that regardless of the disease or condition or what part of the world where they are, the patients need help that nurses can provide.