A Rewarding Exchange

This January, Johis Ortega, A.R.N.P., BC, B.S.N. '02, M.S.N. '06, a lecturer at the school, and doctoral student Maria Teresa Urrutia Soto, M.S., B.S.N., led a group of 14 students on a mini-mester visit to Santiago, Chile. In addition to practicums at two area hospitals, La Catolica and Sotero del Rio, the group visited Casa de Acogida Santa Clara de Asis, a home for children with HIV and AIDS.

At Santa Clara, the group delivered hundreds of toys and clothing items that UM nursing students had collected on behalf of its young residents and played with the children for several hours. Ortega says the experience was so rewarding that he plans to coordinate donations to Santa Clara on an annual basis.

"The visit offers students a unique opportunity to experience a different health care system and compare it with that of the U.S.," says Ortega. "And the exchange between the Chilean students and instructors and our group was very meaningful. We all learned a lot from each other."