Shayna Hoch ’19


Muskegon, MI



Summary of your experience:

I volunteered at a Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children clinic in Costa Rica.

What did you learn as a result of this experience?

I have learned a lot through this experience that will allow me to be able to be a better nurse for my patients. The most important thing that I have learned is how to provide culturally competent care. This is important, because when I am working in the hospital, I will encounter patients from different cultures and religions. It is important that I know how to consider the patients’ beliefs so that they are receiving care that is appropriate and I am able to best assist them with their needs.

The skill that I developed the most was learning how to adapt to new situations. Since I was fully immersed in a community that speaks no English, I was forced to quickly adapt and think quickly about solutions in order to communicate. Through that experience, I was able to see a perspective of how people may feel when they come to America and don’t know how to speak English. I believe that this new perspective will help me when I encounter patients who do not speak the same language as me. I will build on this experience in my future by continuing to provide medical attention to those who would otherwise not receive it. Also, I want to be more proficient in different languages so that I am able to communicate more effectively with my patients.

How has your Alma Venture solidified or altered your career goals?

I believe that this experience will help me in my future academic and career goals because I learned many valuable skills that I have not yet learned in the clinical field that helped me develop into a more confident nurse. With these new skills, I will be able to provide the best possible care to my patients as well as be prepared to adapt quickly to arising situations in the clinical setting.

What was the most rewarding experience during your Alma Venture?

My favorite part of my experience was being able to help the refugees receive care who would otherwise not receive care if it wasn’t for the company I worked with. Knowing that I was able to make a difference in a community that truly appreciates everything we do for them was an incredibly humbling experience. Through this experience, I learned how to see people in a new perspective as well as learn more about myself through them.

What advice would you give a student considering this type of Alma Venture?

I would most definitely recommend this experience to other students, especially nursing students. I believe that this experience was an important step in my learning process toward becoming a nurse. Now I know how to appreciate and adapt to other people’s cultures, which I think is an extremely important part in being a good nurse and to provide the best possible care.