Tech Nursing Students Travel to Belize for Clinical Experiences

Dr. Geist with VillagersProfessor Melissa Geist has led more than 10 nursing-training outreach visits to Belize, a country on Central America’s northeast coast. She and Associate Professor Jennifer Mabry lead a group of graduate and undergraduate students, during the December 2023 holiday break, to the village of Punta Gorda continuing these valuable hands-on clinical experiences.

Newborn health screeningIn partnership with the local hospital, students worked in the areas of emergency medicine, surgery, and obstetrics. Undergraduates were paired with grad students as they interacted with the staff and patients.

“The array of experiences our students have on these types of trips are not only medically-based, but also geographical, cultural, and personal,” said Jennifer Mabry. “The environment may be different, but compassionate healthcare for people is universal.”

Dr. Mabry and childStudents also visited an orphanage providing wellness checks, hearing and vision screenings, and vaccinations for the facility’s children.

This clinical outreach trip included assistance from a Cookeville-based firm, START CPR (safety techniques and response training), offering Advanced Cardiac Life Support training for 20 of the local healthcare providers.

The history of medical and health education outreach services provided by the university’s nursing faculty and students directly inform and support their regional program, ESTAR Sanos – Be Healthy serving rural and Hispanic communities in the Upper Cumberland.

“We are thrilled to be able to build on our prior experiences in the field and share these resources and services with underserved communities,” said Melissa Geist. “Our students have the opportunity to participate in a range of unique programs and outreach events.”

For more information, please email

Plaza MariachiESTAR Sanos
Regional Press Release
Winter 2023

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Dr. Melissa Geist works with children at a Plaza Mariachi event.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

Highlights ESTAR Sanos | News Watch, November 2022

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