Poster Presentation

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
2:45 PM - 3:30 PM
This presentation is part of : Poster Presentation I
Community Nursing: Service Learning in Ghana
Susan A. McMarlin, RN, BSN, MSN, EdD, Brooks College of Health, School of Nursing, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, USA
Learning Objective #1: Conceptualize differences between nursing content taught in a classroom versus that obtained from a "lived experience" or emersion in another culture.
Learning Objective #2: Conceptualize two or more reasons for offering student nurses opportunities to enroll in multidisciplinary courses, which focus on cultural topics

Seven nursing students and an instructor will join an interdisciplinary Honor’s course, which culminates with three-weeks in Ghana. Instead of learning vicariously about challenges of a developing country, these students will link classroom content with actual visits. An ethnographical study is planned to evaluate occurrence of transformational learning. The location is a maternity clinic close to Tamale, Ghana. The clinic is owned by a midwife, who is on the teaching staff at a nearby hospital.  In Ghana, midwives birth babies, remove guinea worms, treat malaria, suture wounds, and provide other services.  Maternity clinics serve as “scaled down” hospitals, complete with maternity rooms and emergency areas.  These clinics, especially in rural areas, often host the only medical personnel available for miles. The instructor is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and an experienced maternity and community nurse.  In addition to interdisciplinary classes which focus on economic and political issues, the nurses will participate in health-related classes taught by the instructor. Examples of topics include universal precautions and emergency childbirth. She will precede the students’ arrival to assure nursing opportunities in the clinic and nearby villages.  Student nurses will be invited to participate in three focus groups during the semester:  first week; last week; and conclusion of the experience.  They will be asked to respond to open-ended questions, which focus on course objectives: increased sense of personal satisfaction; professional growth; increased awareness of unmet health needs in the world; and preparation for nursing practice in a diverse health care environment.  Community nursing is devoted to service learning including opportunities in international locations. A health issue in another country moralistically and realistically impacts nursing. We belong to the global community, and world health problems are an international flight away. This study is expected to yield information about perceptions regarding the impact of “lived experiences”.