School of Nursing Sends Team to Texas
By Naudia O’Steen
Lee University’s School of Nursing (SON) recently sent a group of students and faculty to Texas to offer relief to Hurricane Harvey survivors.
The group of 19 volunteers helped on three different teams in Rockport, Port Aransas, and Ingleside, Texas, where they served with a freestanding camp, FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC), and offered general assistance to residents of the towns.
“This deployment gave students the opportunity to see the huge impact a disaster such as Hurricane Harvey has on everyone involved in not only the disaster itself, but in the long recovery process,” said Dean of the School of Nursing Dr. Sara Campbell. “Nursing students were able to truly provide holistic care on the ground in the midst of ongoing difficulties for all living and working in the area.”
At the FEMA centers, the teams provided basic healthcare, including monitoring for dehydration and respiratory difficulties, in addition to providing general assistance to hurricane survivors. DRC’s are mobile units where survivors can go to gather information about disaster relief programs and apply for federal assistance.
According to Campbell, the SON team went with the expectation of serving strictly hurricane survivors, but often spent time caring for FEMA volunteers due to the stress, long hours, and time the FEMA volunteers had spent assisting Harvey survivors.
“I learned on this trip that if you make yourself available to the Lord, He leads you to places you could not have come up with on your own,” said Brooke Groff, a senior nursing student. “In Texas, I was able to listen to people's stories and be a part of the healing that the Lord was already working on before I even knew the name of the town.”
At the freestanding camp, which provides housing, food, and supplies to survivors, the SON team provided health monitoring support, organized supplies, and interacted with the children.
In addition to serving at FEMA and the camp, students also helped a 94-year-old resident clear trees and debris from his home.
The team also packed supplies for Puerto Rico during the weekend.