By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
Getting to travel outside of the United States isn’t something a lot of individuals get to experience and is usually a result of a leisurely trip. However, for two local college students, this opportunity became reality as part of a course offered by WVU Abroad and the Office of Global Engagement, along with the Carolina Honduras Health Foundation.
Angela Bohon, daughter of Marvin and Sandra Bohon, is a 2011 graduate of TCHS who followed her passion for nursing to a Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 2015 from WVU. In May of this year, Bohon will receive her Master’s of Science in Nursing followed by continuing towards her Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Her future goals are to finish her Doctorate by 2021 and would like to return to the area working as a Nurse Practitioner for St. George Medical Clinic, “Giving back to the community that has given so much to me,” is what Bohon truly aspires to do. “We are doing this for our last semester of Nurse Practitioner School through WVU,” she stated. “It was made possible for me to go from donations and sponsorships from St. George Medical Clinic, Methodist Ministerial, Eastern Star, St. George United Methodist Church, and Parsons Kiwanis Club,” she informed.
Also taking flight to Honduras is 2009 TCHS graduated, Matraca Hovatter, daughter of Curt and Debbie Hovatter. She attended her undergrad studies at WVU where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 2013. Hovatter worked for WVUH for two years upon graduation and continued as a traveling nurse. She eventually landed back in Morgantown working for WVU Medicine to attend graduate school. In May of this year, she will be graduating as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Hovatter stated, “I am interested in pursuing a Women’s Health Specialty upon graduation.” She had an opportunity to travel out of the country the summer she graduated from nursing school. As a result, she stated, “It was on that trip that I became interested in global health. As healthcare providers and consumers in the United States we truly take for granted the services that are offered. I feel very honored to be able to utilize my education and resources globally. I’m looking so forward to this trip and hopefully it will be the first of many.”
An application process was fulfilled by Bohon and Hovatter, along with numerous other Nurse Practitioner students. Not only did they ask for information such as their GPA and why they wanted to participate in this course, but they went on to ask how they would react to armed guards boarding their bus shouting orders in a foreign language. Before signing their application and submitting for consideration, each applicant was required to read the international travel warning for Honduras to ensure they were comfortable taking on such a demanding adventure.
This trip serves as a two credit course where the students will be traveling to remote areas of Honduras. While there as part of a team, they will be offering primary health care, dental care, and ophthalmic care while learning Honduran culture, caring for common chronic illnesses, acute illnesses and health concern, with the potential of caring for patients with tropical disease or other health issues unique to Honduras.
The mission runs from April 5 through the 14 and will include at least forty hours of clinical time that can be used in their practicum clinical log towards their requirements for the program. Prior to departure on this approximately two-thousand mile trip, the students had assignments to prepare them for potential experiences and will have to complete reflective assignments and a final case study presentation.