Rhoda Owens, an instructor for the Williston State College nursing program, is taking her students to Tanzania, Africa at the end of the fall semester to experience another country's health-care system.
The four students, who are enrolled in a Transcultural Nursing course, will tour and work at the Machame Hospital Palliative Care Program, the Machame School of Nursing, and an orphanage located near Moshi, Tanzania. Students going on the trip include Natalie Larson, Christine Nasers, Mandy Kremer and Denise Panucci.
Owens has taken other students there in the past, but this year is the first she's had the opportunity to prepare the students by holding an entire course before they travel.
Williston State College nursing students have prepared drop off boxes to collect medical supplies for Machame Hospital Palliative Care Program in Tanzania, Africa. The students will travel there to deliver the supplies. Pictured from left to right are Denise Panucci, Christine Nasers, Mandy Kremer and their instructor, Rhoda Owens. Not pictured is Natalie Larson, another student who will be going on the trip.
"I was so excited to do a whole course, because we were able to do more preparation. I taught the class based on an assessment from other students who went on the trip, who answered questions about what they thought they needed to know before they went," Owens said.
"We've been learning about African culture, African hospice and palliative care, their money system and their ways of performing patient care," she added.
The students themselves are interested in learning more about a different culture and health-care system, and hope the experience will help enrich their future nursing careers.
"I think the experience will change us as nurses, it will make us think about the differences in care. I think it will also help us to appreciate the things that we have here in the states for health care," said nursing student Mandy Kremer.
"It will help us work on our active listening skills, because their way of communicating is different. I think it will also teach us not to be in such a hurry, because their culture is more laid back," Christine Nasers, another nursing student, added.
Owens has arranged the trip so that the students will experience the Tanzanian health-care system from several different areas an orphanage, a hospital, a clinic, and home care. The students will also have a chance to meet with other students and compare the different shapes nursing education takes in the two countries.
"I think it's important to experience all the different areas of care, so we can see the care of the client and the family in different settings. We will be able to see the similarities and the contrasts in care between the U.S. system and their system," Owens said.
"We can learn from them and they can learn from us. We are going there with an open mind, not just expecting to teach them, but expecting to learn from them, too," she added.
Owens has kept an ongoing relationship with the Machame Hospital and Palliative Care Program since her first trip with students there, and she and her students have continued to send medical supplies and monetary donations to the program. As they prepare for an upcoming trip in December, Owens and her students are holding a new medical supply drive so they can bring the items with them.
The medical supply drive will be held between Nov. 1-19 and people can donate items by dropping them off at Affinity First Federal Credit Union on South Broadway in Minot, at the Williston State College Nursing Lab on the 4th floor of Trinity Hospital-St. Joseph's in Minot, or at the Williston State College Nursing Lab at Williston State College.
The supplies the students are collecting for the program include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, multiple vitamins, docusate sodium, senna, bisacodyl, gauze bandages, like new clothing in infant sizes through size 5, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and bar soap.
For more information about the drive, contact Owens at 720-1588 or 852-2267.