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NMC Sophomore Heads to Haiti for Medical Mission

Posted by Elizabeth Billington on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 6:00 AM

AlexBoulton.jpgThis article was published by Leeanna Ellis at the Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise on 3/16/2017.

Alex Boulton is hoping to use the skills she's learned so far as a student nurse to give back to those in need. She sees it as a calling.

Boulton, a 2013 Arlington High School graduate and sophomore at Nebraska Methodist College in Omaha, will travel to Haiti on April 8 as part of the Grace4Haiti Medical Mission team. She is one of 41 team members participating in the first week of a two-week trip. A total of 59 will participate.

“I know this is where I'm meant to be. I don't know why, but it's just something I feel that I'm being called to do,” Boulton said. “I can't wait to impact these kids' and families' lives. I'm going there to help and change lives, but I know that it's my life that's going to be changed.”

Boulton learned about Grace4Haiti through her father, Steve, and the program's coordinator, Dave Ingram. The two men attend the same church group.

Boulton's parents — father and stepmother, Steve and Lesley Boulton, and mother and stepfather Cheryl and Eric Hamre — encouraged her to consider joining the mission team.

“It's really excited,” Boulton said. “I'm really nervous because I'm flying out of Omaha by myself.”

Boulton will leave a day later than the rest of the team to allow her to attend her nurse's pinning ceremony at the college.

“It's my commitment to profession of nursing,” she said.

Boulton will miss a week of school, but she said her professors have been supportive of decision to attend the trip. On instructor has offered to give Boulton the opportunity to practice starting IVs.

During the weeklong trip, Boulton will serve with the surgical units in both preop and postop at a hospital in Pierre Payen, Haiti.

Boulton said she's only learned about the work in those departments in the classroom setting and a one-day clinical.

“I'm not familiar with it on a daily basis. To see how it works there, it will be a change,” she said.

Boulton, who works as a care partner at Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, is able to take vital signs, give injections, draw blood and place IVs.

“I just really want the experience. I've been told that I will get it,” Boulton said. “It will be a good experience, but it will be nerve-wracking because I won't be under my instructor's wing. Someone won't be standing over me, watching me give an injection.”

The medical mission team will be limited on the supplies, Boulton said. Each team member is allowed two checked bags, but they won't be filled with clothes for the trip. Instead, the bags will be filled with medical supplies.

“Everything we get is donated,” she said.

Boulton is the third Arlington resident to volunteer with Grace4Haiti. Registered nurse Mary Hilgenkamp and AHS student Hannah Thompson returned from Haiti in November. Hilgenkamp has served on three mission trips.

Authored by Leeanna Ellis at the Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise on 3/16/2017.

Topics: nurse education, community outreach, student spotlight