As a student in the School of Health Professions you will have the opportunity to practice your vocation in communities in need around the world. Below are a few examples of ways you can get involved as a student at Concordia.

Nicaragua

The elective course, DPT 763 Global Education Occupational and Physical Therapy Experience with Children and Adults with Physical Disabilities in a Rural Area of Nicaragua encourages compassion for the impoverished but also empowerment of the people served. Education to the families, missionary nurse, and the Brigadistas, the medical missionary has trained, will be important to allow the programs that have been implemented to be continued.

We began treating five children in 2009 and we now work with over 40 children and adults with physical disabilities over a two–week period. We have seen positive progress in these clients because the families of these individuals have continued to work with each loved one on functional activities that are provided.

Traveling to the homes of the people is an experience in itself and provides a window into the hardships and realities of the rural culture in Nicaragua. The dirt roads are maintained only by the environment with ruts and rocks to travel through. The homes of the families vary from one room with a dirt floor and thatched or tin roofs, to cement block with dirt or concrete floors. It is different from our culture to see how many generations live together and how the household is often maintained by the older children, grandparents, and even cousins, while the parents are off trying to earn money for food.

Clients with neurological, integumentary, and orthopedic conditions are provided evaluation and treatment interventions, working to improve function and quality of life. We partner with a nurse who lives eight months a year in this rural area. Her organization, Circle of Empowerment (COE), provides educational opportunities, medical services, and some economic development for the 6000 people this nurse serves. The mission at CUW is not simply to educate students to become physical therapists, but to inspire each student to “develop in mind, body and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the world.” This amazing Global Education opportunity can provide life changing experiences for physical therapy students who can accept the challenges while learning in a developing country.

The next trip is planned for  January 2018. Occupational Therapy students will travel to Chinandega, Nicaragua to offer OT services to clients with neurological, developmental, and orthopedic conditions.

Nepal

Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Social Work and other appropriate disciplines will have the opportunity to provide services to at-risk women and children in Kathmandu and Pokhara, Nepal.

Efforts are focused on working with ministries in Kathmandu including those who are training the indigent, housing orphans, reaching out to street children, educating individuals with disabilities, and providing rehabilitation to those in need. Interprofessional experiences offer students the opportunity to provide sustainable services to those with health, vocational, educational and spiritual deficits. An upcoming trip in May 2018 will provide CUW students the ability to utilize the skills that have been gained in their academic programs, interact with Nepali nationals, and grow in cultural competence as practitioners.