Nursing at Truman State University
Study Abroad Opportunities in the Philippines
Nursing majors are invited to travel to the Philippines for study abroad.
Prior to the trip, the nursing students study the cultural domains of the Philippines based on the Cultural Assessment Model by Giger and Davidhizar. They perform a cultural self-assessment on themselves, which includes an interview of an elder in each student’s family. Presentations are made to the group about the cultural information they have learned about the Philippines.
In Manila, they encounter a very urban and somewhat westernized culture. But the students discover distinct differences in many social values and practices. During the first days, they tour Nayong Pilipino, a mini-representation of the multiple island cultures of the Philippines. Additional experiences include demonstrations of national dances, meals in Filipino cuisine, shopping in indoor malls and the street market, and tours of scenic places.
When the students arrive at Iloilo City, they experience a more provincial culture of the Philippines. Special classes are designed to expose the students to the local culture. Clinical experiences involve interviews with persons from many walks of life in the Philippine culture. Museo de Iloilo offers many displays of the art, the lifestyles, and the history of Filipinos living in the Province of Iloilo. The students tour different health care facilities in the region. Sightseeing includes a boat ride around the beaches of Guimaras Island with native guides. The last sightseeing event is a trip to Boracay Island, a tropical paradise with pristine beaches and water. The students may arrange opportunities for scuba diving, boating, total body massage, swimming, and interacting with local people in the marketplace.
Post-conferences to every cultural experience address cultural impressions of the students, signs of cultural shock, and developmental stages of cultural relativism. In group dynamics, the students identify ethnocentric impressions and stereotypes that they recognize in themselves and their peers. They discuss how their experiences validate their perspectives and the cultural perspectives in the Philippines.
Jose R. Reyes Medical Center
Jose R. Reyes Medical Center (JRMMC) is the regional hospital in the Philippines administrated through the national government. It is located in a densely populated urban area of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. JRMMC provides services in emergency department, obstetrics, surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, and primary health care to Filipinos regardless of their ability to pay. Many professional schools of medicine, nursing, and other allied heath send their students to JRMMC for clinical training.
The nursing students from Truman State University spend one week at JRMMC working primarily in the labor/delivery room and in the nursery. They get exposed to the Philippines health care system in an urban government hospital at JRRMC. The Staff Training Offices arranges an orientation to the Philippines health care system and nursing practice in the Philippines. The students work with Filipino patients, physicians, and nurses within this institution.
West Visayas State University
In the province of Iloilo, students encounters less urban life and more of the island experiences. Faculty from West Visayas State University Nursing Program plan cultural interviews and clinical experiences in diverse community settings.
In a government hospital, the students care for children with diseases characteristic of the tropical environment. They interview commercial sex workers in a social hygiene clinic and participate in screening for sexually transmitted diseases. St. Joseph’s Hospital in Sta Barbara provides a clinical setting for the students to visit with residents with Hansen’s disease (leprosy). They observe the community environment at the sanitarium with workshops for special craft trades, an elementary school for children, and residential apartments for families of the patients.
Culmination occurs with home visits in a regional barangay (local neighborhood). The culmination begins with ceremonies at the barangay health clinic. Then the students are paired with Filipino nursing students and proceed to visit a Filipino family and interview them about their health needs.