Experiential learning goes international as 21 second and third year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) students get ready to travel to Moshi, Tanzania for a three week cross cultural nursing experience.
The students will be working at the Pamoja Tunaweza (Together We Can) Women’s Centre. The second and third year nursing students from all three SLC campuses (15 from Kingston, two from Brockville, four from Cornwall) leave Wednesday, April 26 and return May 17, 2017. This is the largest group of students taking advantage of this global opportunity since the program began three years ago.
While in Tanzania, the students will be working at the clinic and at outreach clinics in villages surrounding the city of Moshi, located at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. They will be doing health promotion and teaching, screening, and working with the local health care providers. Pamoja goes beyond health and supports the local economy with sustainable effort for women in business.
Students participating in this trip are enrolled in a cross-cultural nursing elective, according to Donna Clarke-McMullen, professor in the BScN program, and accompanying the students on this trip.
“Students have been looking forward to this opportunity since they were accepted into the program. International opportunities draw students to the College. It is fortunate that this course not only counts towards their degree but also provides valuable nursing practice skills they can use throughout their career. Students who have gone in previous years, really support and encourage the upcoming group to get involved. They all want to come again,” Clarke-McMullen said.
“I have been looking forward to going to Tanzania since I started the program in 2015. I have always wanted to go to a third world country and help, and our program allows me to have an unforgettable experience and further my nursing education,” said Mackenzie Snider, a second year student. “I have heard wonderful things from the students who have gone in previous years, and I cannot wait to leave, knowing I will come back with a different outlook on life and nursing.”
To prepare for the trip, students read about global health, cultural nursing practice, common illnesses they may encounter in Tanzania, and cultural differences. Students have heard from guest speakers, prepared case studies and discussed important topics like travel safety and what to expect in the local culture. Students have studied the Tanzanian education, political, and health care systems, and how they compare to Canadian systems. Students also explored the challenges immigrants and refugees face when they come to Canada. Other learning activities while in Tanzania include working with schools, worksites, and an orphanage to provide health education and hypertension screening to employees and the local community.