Senior nursing students from OLOL College volunteered their time and skills to support the Louisiana 2015 Mission of Mercy a free dental clinic organized by the Louisiana Dental Association. The event took place Friday and Saturday at the Armed Forces Reserve Center on innovation Park Drive in Baton Rouge. Participants began arriving at 2 in the morning for registration at 6:00am. By 5pm on both days approximately 1500 patients had received care in the form of medical triage, dental examination, cleaning, and tooth extraction or replacement.
Many of the participants stated they had been in pain for days or weeks but did not have insurance or access to dental care. Nursing students supervised by their instructor Dr. Valerie Schluter provided assistance with medical triage interviewing participants for significant medical history and current medications. Nursing students also assessed blood pressure and pulse on every participant before they were admitted for treatment often providing education on the importance of blood pressure and blood sugar management and consistent medical follow up.
Danna Lowell stated, “Being a part of the Mission of Mercy reminded me why I went to Our Lady of the Lake College. It is very rewarding to have the opportunity to be of service to those who are most in need, creating a spirit of healing and making a difference in people’s lives. This experience inspired me to connect with the community and share what I learned. Volunteering and giving back made me realize that, indeed, nursing is my path and my future.” -- Submitted by Valerie Schluter