How International Interchange Can Bring Benefits into Professional Lives

Saturday, 29 July 2017: 1:50 PM

Fernando Sanches, MSN
Pedro Ernesto University Hospital, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Priscilla Alfradique, PhD
Medical surgical departament, Faculty of Nursing, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Diana Lynn Woods, PhD
School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, USA
Renee Pozza, PhD, MSN
School of Nursing, Southern California Liver Centers and Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, USA

How International interchange can bring benefits into professional lives


Background: In a globalized world, data and information are crucial to making decisions in any field of knowledge. This is especially true for nursing work. Including a global perspective in clinical decision making helps to broaden decision choices, including those that are culturally appropriate. Using this lens, nursing has an important position in the health workforce, developing and strengthening human resources for health and playing a vital role in improving health service delivery worldwide, as shown in a several World Health Assembly resolutions (WHA42.27, 45.5, 47.9, 48.8, 49.1, 54.12 and WHA59.27). Following this assertive, we recognize that international partnership and collaboration from different settings are strategies to build a bridge for nursing knowledge.

Methods: This study is based on the self-reported experience of preceptors from a 250 bed tertiary care university hospital located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where students from a School of Nursing in California visited hospital wards and the operating room. Conducting this experience, one leader of the coordination applied four questions to preceptors who received the students in their wards. The questions were: 1. a. What would you have to say about an international agreement? b. Do you think your hospital has this capacity? 2. How did you engage students for learning on your unit? Have there been repercussions in your unit? 3. Do you think it is important to open the experience to not only students, but experienced nurses as well? 4. Would you be interested participating in an exchange abroad? Data were analyzed using a qualitative descriptive approach focusing on thematic analysis.

Results: A total of 17 eligible preceptors were invited to participate. From this total, 12 (71%) nurses with, at range of three to thirty years of experience in this Brazilian university hospital, answered the proposed questions. Four themes emerged from the preceptor’s responses regarding the participation in the nurse students' exchange abroad: 1) Perceptions about international agreement; 2) Brazilian university hospital’s capacity; 3) Repercussions about receiving students and nurses in the ward; 4) Interest in international professional exchanges. Overall, the preceptors believe to be a relevant opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience. They affirmed that the hospital has conditions to receive international students, if planned accordingly, in a productive way. Preceptors considered a great experience to exchange knowledge and experiences from different realities. Thus, receiving experienced nurses would bring even more opportunities to share scientific knowledge and enrich evidenced based nursing care. They reported the nurse team was positively surprised with the presence of international students and, at the same time, curious know more about their routines and practices related to nursing care. In addition, preceptors were highly interested in international exchanges, although some reported that the use of a second language might be a barrier.

Conclusion: A benefit of our international exchange includes learning about diverse people, cultures, belief systems, and worldviews which is essential for nurses to be effective in a person-centered profession. This experience has formed new partnerships around the world, and promoted a setting where nurses/nursing students learn to care in a worldwide perspective. Furthermore, they have an opportunity to share anxieties, curiosities, discoveries, difficulties, doubts, challenges, and methodologies. These attributes are important aspects to consider when using evidence based practice to improve and promote quality of life.