February, 2009

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Rebekah Carey

Gallup Poll: Nursing is Most Respected Profession

Friday, February 13th, 2009

At the December 10 Anniversary Baccalaureate Education Conference in San Antonio, Texas, “Keeping Pace with Rapid Change in Baccalaureate Nursing Education,” I celebrated with 520 attendees the recent poll which continues to find  nursing is the most respected among its professional peers.  

The challenge to nurse educators is to create and sustain educational systems which guide and nurture future nurses, while at the same time recognizing the changing social and economic dynamics within which we live and work. One speaker discussed the challenge of New Learner/Same Faculty. Integrating innovative technology through the use of Second Life gaming and other simulation devices are becoming popular in nursing programs. Some have concerns about costs of initiating such programs with ill-defined learning objectives and measurement of learning outcomes. 

Developing cultural competency within the nursing curriculum is guided by standards from the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing. Demonstrating accomplishment of such will now be integral to school accreditation. Competency in applying knowledge of social/cultural factors and their affect on health care is foundational to professional nursing. Continuous cultural competency development is crucial for faculty as role models to students. An interesting and valuable Web site is thinkculturalhealth.org.

Wisconsin Lutheran College nursing is already well on its way to guiding its students through the complexities of the professional world. The Nursing Laboratory will soon be one more vital learning environment. Watch for updates in the coming months.

Rebekah Carey

Mbuka buti! How is the day?

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Over Christmas break, I spent time in Zambia coordinating clinical opportunities for our nursing students. Repeatedly I heard from my African colleagues, “This will be very good! We can learn from you, too!” The Lusaka School of Nursing at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka has hosted students from Europe but none from America. They would be most welcoming and invited us to consider rotations in Casualty (ER) and Med-Surg. 

The Beit Cure Orthopedic Hospital for Children is new to Lusaka but has an international presence, where their goal has been to return young citizens to fully functioning individuals by repairing club feet, spina bifida, and post-burn contractures. Rotating through their very modern operating room as well as providing post-operative care to young Africans would be a fantastic learning experience.

A day at the Mwembezhi Lutheran Rural Health Center, the bush clinic in which I had worked for three years, would afford the opportunity to interact with pregnant women and small children who eke out a life with subsistence farming. Additionally, we would observe our African brothers and sisters deliver Christian-based health care in a resource-poor setting.

Chainama Mental Health Hospital and Our Ladies Hospice of Kalingalinga are two organizations which would welcome our students, too. Mental health and end-of-life experiences are challenging when traditional beliefs and witchcraft are a very real barrier to comfort and spiritual healing.

Cross-cultural educational experiences are critical to the development of the nursing professional. We are blessed to have rich opportunities available to our nursing students.

Mulungu akudaliseni (God bless you)

Clinic sign
AIDS is overwhelming the health care system.

Outside clinic
Me and Mwembezhi Lutheran Rural Health Center midwife Sophie Kuphazi.

Inside clinic
Beit Cure Hospital staff and patients.

Zebra
Zambia is famous for its wildlife.

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