Madison Tasker is a junior nursing major and a student in the Honor's program at Georgia College. However, she isn't your average nursing student. Tasker has a passion for helping the Spanish speaking population receive medical care. She was recently given an opportunity to complete an internship at a hospital called Clínica Universidad de los Andes which is part of the University of Los Andes in Santiago, Chile. Clínica Universidad de los Andes is a unique hospital because it helps educate students by providing them hands-on experience with patients. Madison said she chose this experience intentionally through her study abroad program.
"The study abroad program I participated in included two Spanish courses—one in the classroom, and one in the field. Because I am a nursing major, I chose to complete my internship in the university hospital where I studied. I chose to do this because I wanted my medical Spanish terminology to improve, and I loved the idea of observing surgeries alongside other nurses. The experience definitely improved my Spanish speaking as well as understanding, and I learned several medical terms as well. It greatly exceeded my expectations."
Tasker was able to shadow a nurse who taught her Spanish terms for common medical tools and procedures. She was also able to speak to doctors during the procedures, learn the process and how to assist as a nurse.
"From the very first day of my internship, I knew that it was going to be an unforgettable experience," said Tasker. "I simply expected to follow a nurse around, watch her take care of patients, and assist her when asked. Instead, I learned so much from the nurse I shadowed, but I learned even more from the hospital as a whole. The doctors and other nurses did not hesitate to talk to me and teach me whenever they saw an opportunity. They truly cared about my learning, and I am very grateful to them for making my internship so valuable."
Madison says that she wouldn't have been successful if it weren't for Georgia College.
"The Spanish courses I completed at Georgia College prior to my study abroad experience helped prepare me to communicate in Chile, and my Spanish professor from the trip, Dr. Brantley Nicholson, provided several resources for learning Chilean slang that were very helpful, as well. Additionally, the three Honors Option projects I completed for my Spanish courses helped me dig deeper in preparation for traveling to a Spanish-speaking country. My Spanish professors definitely played a large role in helping me be successful when completing my internship abroad."
Now that the internship is over, Tasker is excited to see what her future holds as a nurse.
"This internship experience was my first time observing a Spanish-speaking hospital environment, which is exactly what I want to be able to provide to Spanish-speaking patients in the future," said Tasker. "By doing this, I hope to help patients whose first language is Spanish feel more comfortable communicating their needs with me when I am a nurse. My time in Chile definitely brought me closer to achieving this."