Nurses are integral to global health initiatives and nursing faculty have the responsibility to provide this opportunity for future generation of nurses to improve the health of people locally and internationally. Because nursing is a global profession, nurses should be key partners in global health initiatives in an effort to strengthen health systems and the raise the quality of health care for all people. A nurse who has a global perspective knows that what happens in one part of the world undoubtedly affect people in other parts of the world. The purpose of the presentation is to share how a nurse leader advocated and engaged nursing students in a global health initiative in a vulnerable population in Mexico to improve the quality of health care in the region.
The baccalaureate nursing program in a rural community lacked a global health component so nursing students were not provided the opportunity to examine issues that affect the health and health care in a global arena. In response to students’ growing demand for some kind of global health care experience, nursing professor, Dr Fay Mitchell-Brown, responded by implementing a health care service learning project for ten highly motivated nursing students. This service learning project took place in the village of Cacalote, Oaxaca, Mexico in January 2017.
Oaxaca has a large concentration of indigenous people and most regions are dominated by poverty, idolatry, witchcraft, diseases, and inaccessible health care. The existence of personal, financial, organization, social and cultural barriers to health care services create a significant compromise to the quality of health care provided in the region. This creates an inevitable state for suboptimal health and negative health outcomes for this vulnerable population. This global project provided students with several opportunities: (1) hands on experience in treating clients and learning about diseases in the region, (2) creation of health education classes in a community forum where a language and cultural barrier exist, (3) immersion in a multicultural health care experience, (4) management of limited resources to provide high quality care at a low cost, and, (5) participation in planning and delivery of health care through the use of mobile clinics.
The students benefitted profoundly from this global experience and it provided them with substantial opportunities to recognize the importance of social determinants on health outcomes, the importance of patient centered care, delivery models of care, and the creation of quality strategies to improve care in the domestic and global arena. Participation in this global health project also provided students with a better understanding of the myriad of global health care issues that affect this vulnerable population and helped students understand the role that health care providers play in transforming quality health care locally and beyond.
Audience Take Away:
• State how the understanding of global health can improve quality of health care locally.
• Describe specific projects that were implemented to improve the quality of health care in the region.
• Summarize the importance of the leadership and mentorship of nursing faculty in a nursing program in improving the quality of health care locally and internationally.
• The audience will gain an appreciation of the importance of including future nurses and health care providers at all level in global work and collaboration to improve quality health care for all people.
• This will Increase the audience’s understanding of measures that can be applied to increase quality health care and health outcomes for populations.
• This will provide the audience on specific recommendations to improve quality health care locally and globally.