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Student nurses to learn in Jamaica

A hands-on educational learning experience in Montego Bay Jamaica, West Indies, awaits 15 undergraduate and graduate student nurses. The group will travel June 3-10.

“This opportunity allows for the UTC nursing faculty and students to collaborate with members of the international community and provide interventions that will enhance health promotion, disease prevention and recognition and health maintenance of vulnerable groups in a developing country,” said Lisa Muirhead, MSN, ARNP-CS, ANP and Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing.

In collaboration with the Jamaica Ministry of Health and Regional Health Authorities, students and faculty will be providing services for children and staff of the Caribbean School for the Deaf, children at a local basic school, two orphanages and a women’s health center which provides care for teenagers who have left school due to pregnancy. The UTC nursing team will be holding health clinics at a church. Local residents may participate in blood pressure screening, glucose screening, clinical breast examinations and education focused on the importance of monthly self breast examinations, nutrition and strategies to manage stress.

“The international experience will also afford students and faculty the opportunity to interact with local nurses and health care professionals, thus gaining an appreciation of the way they practice and employ unique strategies for achieving health outcomes with inherent economic constraints of a developing country,” said Muirhead.

International hands-on service learning experiences allow for immersion in a community, Muirhead said. Students will also discover an awareness of what drives health related behavior, including values, beliefs and resources or lack of resources.

This international educational experience will further aid students and faculty in gaining interpersonal skills necessary to meet the realities of the global community, broaden their perspectives of nursing internationally, and lend to professional and personal growth, according to Muirhead.

The group is currently accepting donations of infant items, reading glasses, t-shirts and other items to take abroad.

“Folks are usually very grateful and appreciative,” Muirhead said. Please contact Lisa-Muirhead@utc.edu or call the School of Nursing (423)425-4644 to learn how to contribute.

May 4, 2007