Life as the Hero Holiday Nurse
My name is Nicole Dufault, and I am the Hero Holiday nurse. I have had the privilege of being a part of Hero Holiday in Dominican Republic since we first started coming here in 2005. This is my third year running clinics during Hero Holiday, and this time is definitely a this time is a little different. I’m used to having high school students helping out, but this time… 40 eager nursing students, two dentists and one amazing doctor! It has been so much fun working with these students, challenging them, and where I can, teaching them, and forcing them to use their eyes and ears to figure out what is going on with a patient, because the reality is that unfortunately I couldn’t fit a lab or CT scanner into my suitcase, I think that would have put me over my 50 pound limit!
They have been rising to the challenge and impressing myself, a northern nurse of 10 years, and our physician….of a little more advanced experience 😉 They have been working in extremely hot conditions, where lighting is a luxury and heat is a non-negotiable. To date, we have seen over 500 patients, cleaned countless teeth with brand new toothbrushes and seen many teeth go flying as they were extracted! The dentists have been sharing their work space with the local cows and chickens, kneeling beside the pool lounge chairs from our hotel, and with an eager audience of many sets of eyes watching their every move, and many patients kissing them on the cheek in grateful thanks. But the best part of this whole experience is the comment I hear every day: wow, that was a great day!