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White coats, dusty roads – the adventures of nursing in Tanzania

International Nursing Program 2015 – There are a lot of differences between healthcare in Nova Scotia and healthcare in Tanzania, so let's just say spending two weeks in the chaotic atmosphere of a rural Tanzanian hospital is a tremendous learning experience for a NSCC Practical Nursing student.

One week ago, four PN students from the Waterfront Campus (Susan Pelley, Kimberley McKenna, Jennifer MacMillan and Ashley Highfield) touched down in Tanzania, East Africa along with faculty member Monique Wood and Academic Chair Michelle Kucey. The group then travelled to Mikumi, the town in which they would visit St. Kizito hospital and complete part of their clinical requirement.

Each student is paired with a local nurse and will observe and perform duties within their scope of practice (which varies depending on where you are in the PN program). The experience will be an eye-opener as the group learns how to be an effective healthcare provider with a lack of or sometimes outdated resources; realizes the reality of the high rate of maternal and infant mortality in Tanzania; and becomes aware of the conditions and diseases that aren't as prevelant in Nova Scotia such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. 

In addition, the NSCC group will partake in cultural activities such as a safari, village tours and impromptu Swahili lessons while staying at the Mikumi Vocational Training Centre (VTC) located across the street from the hospital.

Each day as the students walk along the dusty roads of Mikumi while the sun sinks below the horizon, they definitely realize one thing. . .white nursing uniforms were a bad choice!

Kellie McMullin

NSCC International

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