January, 24, 2013

Learning about Global Health

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