Tag: "the healer’s art"

As the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the College of Nursing comes to an end, I have been reflecting on the many activities of the year, especially the college’s display at the Education in Zion Gallery. Thanks to the vision of our former dean, Dr. Beth Cole, and the support of our current dean, Dean Patricia Ravert, we have been able to collect and share some wonderful memorabilia and stories with the university community. I am especially proud of the pictures depicting students and faculty working together to bring the blessings of the Healer’s Art to many areas of the globe.

Over the past decade, the College of Nursing has developed a unique, worldwide nursing program. Many of the pictures in the display feature nursing students teaching and healing. Some of these populations include US veterans returning from war, American Indians on reservations, children from leprosy-afflicted families in India, and families in Tonga and Africa. The College of Nursing has truly embraced the university’s motto “the world is our campus.”

Personally, as the faculty curator of this exhibition, I have delighted in discovering the rich and unique heritage of our college. Starting from our Relief Society roots in pioneer Utah and spanning to our modern, worldwide influence, our history is filled with incredible stories and inspiration.

This project was made possible through the efforts of many faculty members, nursing administrators, exhibit experts, and our wonderful students—both past and present—who make all our efforts worthwhile. I would like to extend my appreciation to all of the contributors. May the next few decade
s be as rich and fulfilling as the past.

Karen Lundberg, College of Nursing Faculty

During these cold January days, we often look forward to summertime.

For many, summer is a time of relaxation and traveling. During the summer months, many BYU students participate in university-sponsored study abroad programs. During spring term, students in the College of Nursing participate in a global health course to learn more about other cultures. Students recently traveled to India, Ghana, Tonga, Taiwan, Russia, and Finland to learn more about healthcare in other countries and to be immersed in the culture of those countries. Students also had opportunities to learn more about US veterans, the Navajo Nation, and other local at-risk populations.
With a growing influx of immigrants coming to the United States, it is increasingly essential for nurses to provide culturally competent care. Understanding how people from other cultures perceive and respond to various aspects of healthcare is central in providing quality care. Through this nursing course, students have amazing opportunities to be immersed in the culture of another country and learn concepts in providing culturally appropriate care.

The Healer’s Art: A Celebration of the College of Nursing is on display at the Education in Zion Gallery. One of the focal points is an exhibit of nursing students’ experiences during this global health course. On display are memorabilia exhibiting pictures and writings from students working with orphans in Finland, cleaning leprosy wounds in India, building homes in Ecuador, and serving in remote areas of Tonga. What interesting and inspiring stories!

In addition to the experiences of nursing students, there are other accounts of BYU College of Nursing graduates involved in humanitarian and international activities. These accounts include displays of nurses who have served tours of duty on the hospital ship the USS Mercy and nurses who have been involved in neonatal resuscitation efforts with LDS Humanitarian Services.

During this semester, I encourage you to come and see for yourself some of the ways that nurses are making a difference in the lives of others—both locally and in various locations around the globe.

Cheryl Corbett, BYU College of Nursing

Learning the Healer’s Art

From the Archive

The time had arrived to begin my new clinical rotation. With trepidation, I made the drive from Idaho State University to the State Mental Hospital in Blackfoot, Idaho. I left the environment of a college campus with its purpose and promise and entered the stark, locked confines of a mental hospital.

In the 1970s, state mental hospitals were still large facilities warehousing patients whose lives had been decimated by mental illness. Medications like Thorazine and Haldol were available to treat severe mental illnesses, but the side effects were often severe, such as uncontrollable contorted muscular movements. It was disconcerting to see patients rocking back and forth and talking to themselves.

I entered the adult male ward and felt nervous when I met my patient, a Native American male in his late twenties. He suffered from schizophrenia. My instructor had told me that the most important skills I would be using in the psychiatric rotation were my “presence” and “communication.”

My patient showed me drawings of mystical women with magic powers, drawn with colored pencils. I wondered why he was fascinated with these depictions, and I found myself drawn into trying to comprehend his world. Each week we looked at his pictures and talked. Over the course of my clinical rotation, I began to see him as a person—not a delusional, mentally ill man. I found it hard to say goodbye to him when the 14 weeks ended.

Now I am a Brigham Young University professor and psychiatric mental health clinical specialist. I know the students feel frightened and apprehensive as they begin their psychiatric rotation, but I encourage them to use their “presence” and “communication” skills in addition to all of the nursing knowledge they have gained in school. I tell them to listen to their patients and try to understand the person experiencing psychiatric illness. Through their experiences, they learn, as I did, of the amazing strength and courage of individuals who are a part of this vulnerable population.

Linda Mabey, BYU College of Nursing Faculty

Editor’s note: For more stories of nurses working with underserved populations, visit The Healer’s Art: A Celebration of the College of Nursing on the third floor of the gallery.