University of New England faculty and 16 students from the College of Health Professions are participating in a two-week transcultural immersion experience to Ghana, West Africa from August 8-22.
Jennifer Morton, MS, MPH, RN, nursing, and Regi Robnett, PhD, OTR/L, occupational therapy, and 16 interdisciplinary students from the College of Health Professions including: nursing, social work, occupational therapy, health services management, and physician assistant will be joining Hilarie Jones, MS, APRN from Ghana Health Mission. They will work with clients of all ages in a primary care clinic initially established by the faculty of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the people of Sekondi, Ghana.
This experience will introduce the students to health care as it is delivered in a developing country while they provide valuable healthcare services and community health education to the people of Sekondi, Ghana. The course tied to this experience, “Transcultural Immersion in Health Care,” will assist students in recognizing and heightening their skills as culturally sensitive health professionals through self reflection prior to, during and after the immersion experience.
Students will participate in activities that include:
- Participation in the delivery of direct patient care
- Community health education as a partnership with community health workers
- Becoming versed in the use of interpreters
One example of the community outreach the students will be doing is educating people about the need for safe drinking water and staying hydrated. In meetings prior to the trip, students discussed ways to do this and developed an oral hydration packet, which consists of ½ tsp. salt, 8 tsp. sugar and one liter of water, which they will be handing out to people waiting in line at the clinic with interpreted instructions. “Although the students will participate in healthcare delivery services to approximately 1,500 patients during their visit, the community health education they deliver to the community will be passed on to many more people, and could have a even bigger impact on the community’s health,” said Morton.