For the last several years, students from Belmont University School of Nursing have spent up to three weeks each summer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia working at the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE for the poor while earning course credit. Students divide their clinical time between the medical and surgical wards, the operating room, the emergency room, the outpatient clinic, home visits to AIDS patients and a hospice for AIDS patients. Students can see how health care has developed in this nation following the devastation caused by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970’s.
Because so many seek free, quality health care at Sihanouk Hospital, the Cambodian people have determined that the only fair way to decide who is treated each day is to hold a lottery. Almost every day and according to the hospital census, ten new patients are chosen for treatment. These can come to the hospital at any time for care along with the others already in the hospital. Others, of whom many have come from far away provinces, will return day after day, hoping to be chosen to receive some of the best care that is available in the nation. One of the goals of the hospital is to share knowledge and information with governmental and other hospitals so that the standard of health care can be improved throughout the country.
Read about the details of these recent trips on the Health Sciences blog.