A nursing student from Huntsville is taking the trip of a lifetime.

Rachel Leason studies Practical Nursing at Georgian College. She’s one of 18 students, and the only one from Muskoka, going on a journey to Consuelo, Dominican Republic, this spring.

It’s a nursing awareness trip put on every year by the school in partnership with Rayjon Share Care which gives the students an opportunity to apply what they’ve been learning in the classroom in real life.

“We’ll be running four clinics while we’re there, seeing upwards of 200 people a day and just doing basic assessments and needs, providing them with medication and treatment that they don’t get all the time,” she tells MyMuskokaNow.com.

Students whose grades are in good standing can apply to go on the trip.  Those that are selected will have 40 hours knocked off of their required 450 hours of final placement study that are needed to graduate.

Although she has never been on this trip before she is definitely excited for it for a variety of reasons.

“For one, being able to practice my nursing skills and being able to help the people there. For two, it’s going to be a big change in the culture that I’m used to. I’ve never been outside of my little home area here, and so to be able to see how other people live, differences in healthcare, and services provided as well as their culture, their beliefs, their everything, it’s going to be completely different to what I’m used to.”

Leason has to pay her own way for the trip, but she says they do need to try to raise money for the supplies and treatments they’ll be using while in the Dominican Republic.  So she’s asking Muskoka residents to pitch in if they can.

“We have a goal to try and provide healthcare for a year after we leave which is a cost of $36,000, which will provide care for the whole community,” she says.

Anyone who’d like to donate can do so at this website, or you can get in touch with Leason if you’d like to make a cash, cheque, or e-transfer donation.

Leason is heading out on April 24th, but their packing date is April 13th.  That means any item donations have to be in before then.  E-transfers, cash, or cheques can be taken up to a week prior to the trip. She’s encouraging as many people as possible to make a donation.

“It’s a good thing.  What goes around comes around, and if I can help people, and if other people can help people, I think it’s a good thing.”