West Coast University-Ontario graduate Sally Villanueva was born to help others.
“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse, because I felt in this career, I can make the most difference in the world and that starts with health and being healthy. Then you can start helping other people,” she said.
Recently, Villanueva went on a medical outreach trip to Cusco, Peru where she was given the opportunity to volunteer at a rural health clinic, giving health screenings to nearly 600 people over the course of five days.
While in Peru, Villanueva encountered parents with identical twin babies who had little knowledge on how to care for their children. She worked with the parents to give them the skills they needed to feel more confident in raising their infants.
“It was everything to see that they knew that they were doing a good job, even in the circumstances that they were in,” she said.
As a public health nurse, Villanueva strives to help every patient she comes into contact with. During her trip to Peru, she was able to confirm that nursing was truly the profession she belonged in.
“The trip was so rewarding and so humbling. For me, it was a good reminder of why I’m passionate about what I do,” she said. “For me it was just a 100 percent confirmation that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.”
The most important lesson Villanueva took away from her trip to Peru was the value of helping others. This opportunity is something that she hopes everyone has the chance to do.
“For those alumni that are interested in being a part of a medical reach trip I say go for it. Don’t hesitate even if you don’t know the language. Even if you’ve never been out of the country, like myself before this trip, go for it,” she said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I hope I have many more opportunities to go in the future.”
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