Here is an assortment of images showing life in Zambia and the experiences of Wisconsin Lutheran College’s nursing students.
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These words were part of a song that the students at one of the Lutheran grade schools here in Lusaka sang to some of our nursing students this morning. The words have also become somewhat of a theme for us as we experience miracles of discovery and learning each day.
The nursing students have been doing lots of health teaching at the grade schools and for the wives of the seminary students. Today the students reported that the wives are becoming more comfortable with the students. They are starting to ask more questions about women’s health and they have even started laughing and joking around with the students. Some of the students went to a small village today as part of a Home Based Care program where they talked to a patient in her home and observed kapenta (small sardine-like fish) being cooked over a little coal stove outside.
Over the weekend we traveled to Livingstone to see Victoria Falls and took a ride through Mosi-oa-Tunya Game Park to see some of Africa’s finest wildlife. The scenery and the landscape was amazing and breathtaking! A walking adventure down to the “boiling pot” was a highlight, as well as seeing the powerful waterfall.
God’s creation was definitely evident all around us! Getting up extra early on Saturday morning was definitely worth the lack of sleep as we set out in open air vehicles to look for animals seen only in zoos back in the U.S. A herd of zebras and a mother and baby giraffe were at the top of the favorites list.
We have had many miracle days and expect more to come in our remaining time in Zambia. We can’t wait to share all the things we have seen and learned with our family and friends at home!
By Valerie L., Wisconsin Lutheran College Global Health nursing student
From Lusaka, Zambia:
Our flight was very long, but we finally made it to Zambia! It was a surreal experience when we walked down the steps of the airplane into Zambia. We felt very welcomed when we arrived at the Lutheran seminary grounds.
Our first day here we toured Beit Cure Hospital. Our ride back to the seminary was interesting – we could see all of the different living conditions ranging from compounds to luxury hotels. I cannot imagine what I will see in the coming weeks!
Today some of us went to the market with Professor Carey. We were offered samples of the mwauyu fruit of the baobab tree. It was surprisingly tart.
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.
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!!
On Tuesday evening, as we wrapped up our clinical experience in Zambia, we were reminded of God’s purpose for us nurses through a devotion by WLC student Ryan Schroeder, based on Scripture from 1 Corinthians 13:
“If I speak in tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong…I am nothing…Love is patient, love is kind… When I was a child, I talked like a child…. When I became a man I put childish ways behind me…”
One thing I noticed while reading this was that if I were to substitute “my name” for the word “love” in this passage, the whole thing would read a lie. “Ryan is patient. He does not boast…” If I were to continue, the passage would be a list of falsehoods. While I don’t intend to be presumptuous, I think it is safe to say that this is true of all of us.
Despite our best intentions to provide care out here, we ourselves have formed the greatest barrier. Poverty is terrible. Language barriers are hard to overcome. But the personal struggle to truly love might be the most insurmountable goal of all.
We came to Zambia full of excitement and the will to serve, but often we have taken more than we could ever hope to repay. Each of us had personal moments that have left us awestruck by how much Zambians can give (and how rich they truly are). Dan with Abel. John with KK. And all of us with Mrs. Nyrenda.
But for all our ineptitude to repay the love we’ve been shown, Christ is able. If we go back to the text and insert the name “Jesus” for “love,” nothing could read truer.
“If I have faith that can move mountains, but have not Jesus, I am nothing… Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus never fails.”
If we nurse through our own nature, we can never give love. But if we deny ourselves for Christ, our ineptitude makes way for his glory. Through baptism Christ has changed the very nature off humanity, giving us the means to love.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wickedness, then I will forgive their sins and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
The Zambians realize this and know that healing is only through Christ. We, too, can be that loving, but only through Christ.
By WLC assistant professor of nursing Amanda Passint
On Friday, May 18, 2012, the School of Nursing held a reception in Generac Hall to commemorate the first graduating class from the WLC School of Nursing. Throughout the night, participants were able to celebrate the hard work, joys, challenges, and fruits of labor of the students, faculty, families, and supporters of the nursing program. Approximately 100 guests attended the reception.
During the short ceremony, Department Chair Prof. Rebekah Carey recognized a few of the many supporters of the program and helped participants to reflect upon the many triumphs of the program (see her comments at the end of this post).
Dr. John Kolander, WLC Provost, reflected upon the beginning of the nursing program and discussed the importance of having WLC nursing graduates in the community to act as servant leaders.
The 10 graduates from the class of 2012 were individually recognized and received their WLC nursing pins (receiving a pin with the school’s logo is a time-honored tradition among nursing graduates). The ceremony concluded with a song of thanksgiving to God for the blessings he has bestowed upon the WLC nursing program.
Congratulations to the Class of 2012, and thank you to all who have supported the WLC School of Nursing!
Prof. Carey’s remarks:
As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good to all – this bit of scripture is the underlying theme of our nursing program. Our opportunities have been many – our students’ goodness has shown through in multiple ways. The support from colleagues, friends of the college, and family members has been abundant! This evening we celebrate the hard work, the joys, the challenges, and the fruits of our efforts.
Our students stand before us. Our colleagues and families stand beside us. And the CCNE accreditation body has recognized us!
With a new program, comes many “firsts.” Besides a whole new curriculum, the members of the class of 2012 pioneered in other areas as well:
Kristen Luebbe was the first WLC Student Nurse Association president, essentially developing the organization from the ground up in 2008. Additionally, she is the first in her class to land a real nursing job – already in February!
Jillian Jackan was the first nursing student to present at the 2011Undergraduate Research Symposium, sharing her data on vision and hearing screening of elementary students in an urban school setting.
Amanda Kamla was the first second degree nursing student, as well as the first to attain a Level 3 in the ATI review, a distinction shared by fewer than 10% of nursing students nationally. She is also my first relative to be accepted into the nursing program!
Nathanael Rosenberg was the first nursing student to attain Scholar Athlete status as a WLC football player.
As written by the apostle John, “Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
To our loved ones, friends, and colleagues in this room, you have loved with actions and in truth. Know that your prayers and support have blessed us greatly.
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.”
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.
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 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