Two weeks later and I am back home in the US! I am both happy and sad to have left Buenos Aires…I was glad to be able to relax and sleep in my own bed, but upset that such an amazing journey has come to an end. I learned so much in my two weeks in Argentina, and I am so grateful that I was able to go on Plus3.
I experienced a lot of personal growth and learning throughout the trip, which was unexpected but definitely appreciated. I had never traveled for this length of time without my family before, so it was a very different dynamic for me. Being around people I did not know well taught me a lot about cooperation and how much your attitude can affect both your experience and the experiences of those around you. I was also very lucky to make some amazing friends while abroad. This was one of my favorite parts as Plus3 because as a nursing student, I only really take classes and interact with other nurses on a day to day basis at Pitt. However, I was able to meet and get to know 16 business students, which I may have not have been able to do otherwise.
Not only did I make new friends on Plus3, but I experienced academic growth as well. I think working with students from a different program broadened my horizons academically because I had to think a little bit differently knowing that there were non-nurses on the trip as well. It also allowed me to see the managerial side of healthcare facilities, which is not something that I usually focus on. Seeing the business aspects of healthcare opened up my mind to possibilities for myself in the future. Just because I am a nurse does not mean that I cannot pursue a job on the managerial side of a hospital later down the road.
Professionally I experienced growth as well. I learned a lot about creating a patient-centered environment because sometimes your resources are scarce, so all you can do is give your patient your full attention and tend to as many of their needs as you are able to. I really admired the level of compassion shown by all of the people we met in the various facilities in Buenos Aires. I will definitely remember each and every one of those nurses and doctors as I begin my clinical career starting this fall.
I also learned a lot about culture these past two weeks. I was shocked at how similar the US and Argentina really are, which goes to show that no matter how far apart two places may be, or how different they may seem, we are all much more alike than we think. I had an unforgettable time in Argentina, and I am eternally grateful for all of the things I have learned that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.