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School Nurses Assist With Medical Missions in Haiti

Wendy Duemmler, Jane Laney, and Angel Bunce (from left to right) at one of the onsite clinics for the week.

Wendy Duemmler, nurse at Stallings and Hemby Bridge Elementaries, Angel Bunce, nurse at Monroe High School, and Jane Laney, School Nurse Supervisor flew out of Charlotte on November 11, 2012 for a week-long trip to Haiti. The three school nurses went to Haiti with the Union Baptist Association to assist various Haitian communities with their medical needs and to minister to them about God.

The School Nurses hooked up with other American and Haitian medical team members in Haiti and traveled daily to see sick and injured people in various Haitian communities. Over the week’s time, the team triaged and treated a total of 965 patients. They treated people for acute illnesses such as colds, sinus, eye and ear infections, communicable skin conditions, and also treated chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and vitamin and iron deficiency, to name a few.

The team also went to two orphanages during their stay in Haiti and gave out toys, dolls and clothes to the children. “That was the hardest part for me,” said Laney of her experience. “All of us wanted to bring a child home with us!”

The island of Haiti has had a history of destructive earthquakes. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, leaving a death count estimated at 220,000. As a result of the earthquake, hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless and the country has yet to recover.

The same three nurses went to Haiti in January of 2011, during the first anniversary of the 2010 earthquake and worked at a cholera hospital. “Much has improved since my first trip,” stated Angel Bunce, who has been to Haiti a total of 4 times now, “although it is still a third world country and progress is very slow. The lack of available health care is overwhelming (for the people of Haiti).”

Pictured, Duemmler, Laney, and Bunce (from left to right) at one of the onsite clinics for the week. The big blue tarp behind them formed the boundaries of the clinic site under a big tree, with triage going on in one corner, patients being seen by the doctor in another corner, and a pharmacy in another corner, where patients took their written prescriptions from the doctor to be filled.

“It is very rudimentary, but it works,” said Laney. “Seeing 965 patients in a week’s time is something of which we are all proud.”

Why Haiti? Wendy Duemmler summed it up best. “The reason I go to Haiti is because, as a nurse, I want to try and ease people's suffering. I know that I am a blessed woman and if I can ease someone's pain that's what it is all about. We all left a part of our hearts in Haiti.”

Written by: Jane Laney RN, BSN, School Nurse Supervisor
Posted: Dec 13, 2012 by Jane Laney

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