Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
College/School: Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Claudia Char and her family moved to Miami from Cuba when she was nine years old. The land of opportunity held promise, but challenges as well: her family of five living in a one-room apartment; being a target for school bullies; and precious little time with her beloved mother, who worked two full-time jobs to support her family.
Claudia’s mother, formerly a pharmacist, would treat and care for her children when they were ill, especially since they could not afford health insurance. This spurred Claudia’s passion for healthcare. She earned a bachelor’s in biological sciences from FIU and returned for the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
A life-jarring misdiagnosis during midterms in junior year cemented her decision. Claudia was experiencing severe abdominal pains and was initially told by her physician it was a tumor. Thankfully, a follow-up visit three weeks later confirmed the condition as gastritis. But her doctor’s aloof reaction to his misdiagnosis did not sit well with her. As a patient herself, she recognized that practitioners must accept accountability for how they communicate with and inform patients, and the need to do so with respect and empathy, regardless of their socio-economic background.
Claudia plans to pursue her Doctor of Nursing Practice at FIU and hopes to someday lead the charge in providing the less fortunate with healthcare opportunities through monthly free clinics, bringing her story full circle as someone who had difficulty affording healthcare to providing it to those who can’t.