Student Nurses Join Nurture Africa Project
Third Year Student Nurses, Deborah Fitzpatrick (Belturbet, Co Cavan), Kiera Wasson (Collooney, Co Sligo), Dearbhla Carty (Ballygawley, Co Sligo), Jessica Cunningham (Ballinasloe, Co Galway) and Orla Briggs (Ballinasloe, Co Galway) enjoyed a practice placement with a difference this year as they joined a pilot project with Nurture Africa allowing them to deliver live streamed and interactive workshops to audiences within Nurture Africa’s Ugandan health centres, reaching out to healthcare staff, volunteers, parents and community workers. The School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Disability Studies at St. Angela’s College were asked to participate in the project based on the valuable BNSc course content and the students’ knowledge which aligned perfectly to the services running with the Ugandan health centres.
‘This international collaboration gave our students a sense of global unity at a time when geographical distances seemed greater than ever. Working together, we identified the learning needs of the Nurture Africa healthcare professionals, volunteers, service users/patients and their families’ explains Ursula Gilrane, Year 3 Programme Leader, St. Angela’s College.
Students worked in pairs or individually to deliver educational interventions on topics including: Infection Control, Down Syndrome and Autism - further enhancing the various primary healthcare supports already in place by Nurture Africa. Students also ran successful fundraising campaigns which will contribute to work on the ground in Uganda. The entire learning experience will go towards the students overall nursing practice assessment and their final end-of-year results.
Student Nurse Kiera Wasson describes ‘It has been a great experience meeting the healthcare team and community members, even if it is virtually. We are sharing information about our lived experiences and it has been so informative and eye opening. I would love to travel to Uganda someday to see for myself the great work Nurture Africa does and help out in any way that I could’.
Acting College President, Dr Edel McSharry envisages future international projects ‘it’s wonderful to associate with reputable agencies who make a difference to those in developing communities around the world and St. Angela’s College students are ideally positioned for such initiatives given their innovative learning and practical skills across all our courses. We look forward to exploring overseas placements which will further complement our students learning as well as offering them important life-experiences’. Dr McSharry concludes ‘I want to acknowledge the work from our students and staff within the Academic School, particularly Ursula Gilrane and Siobhan Healy-McGowan who co-ordinated this pilot project’.
Student Nurses and Staff from St. Angela’s College join Nurture Africa and representatives in Uganda for a live streamed workshop.