A few days ago, we had the opportunity to visit the Nursing Program at Notre Dame University here in Jacmel. Knowing how excellent, professional and efficient the Nursing programs are at Madonna University and Felician College, for Notre Dame University, there is just one word that comes to mind–simplicity. The school was destroyed because of the earthquake and still has not been rebuilt. They relocated to an open-spaced area, having classrooms with tin roofs; but last Fall Hurricane Sandy destroyed some of their classrooms, and they are still being reconstructed. This did not stop the Nursing Program; the professors and students are committed and dedicated to working together for the health and dignity of all Haitian people.
The nursing lab is very simple; it has one “dummy” for all the students to use for practice. On the shelves, we saw a few medications and practice machines. The program is working very hard to educate their students. The library has French, English and Spanish medical textbooks, but there are few shelves. The students who cannot afford books learn there, as well as those students who have no electricity in their homes.
On Saturday evening, we went for Mass that celebrated the first year Nursing students who received their “habit” (uniform) to continue for clinical practice in the hospital here in Jacmel. There were about 80 female students in the class. The Mass was beautiful, and the singing by the students was glorious. Bishop Launay Saturne reminded the students that they have been given a mission as Christians to be healers of both the body and the soul.
How we wish that someday Madonna University and Felician College could walk in relationship with Notre Dame University here in Jacmel!