Global learning: Nursing students here and in Peru compare notes

Video conference, nursing studentsUW-Green Bay’s collaboration with a partner institution in Peru paid dividends in March when Prof. Chris Vandenhouten led nursing students from Universidad de Tumbes and UW-Green Bay in discussion of healthcare and nursing education via a real-time video conference.

Students and instructors compared notes on healthcare and nursing practices and also joked a little about the Green Bay Packers.

The UW-Green Bay students were enrolled in the nursing course, Community Health Theory. Peruvian students participated with Profesor Yrene Urbina Rojas of Universidad de Tumbes.

Universidad de Tumbes students shared that nursing students there attend classes for five years after which time they spend an additional year in a type of internship assigned by the Services Marginal Rural and Urban Health (SERUMS). Upon completion of the SERUM, they are considered a certified nurse and paid about 3,500 to 4,000 soles per month (about $1,250).

Dawn Herrmann, a UW-Green Bay Nursing student, inquired about the typical workload of a nurse in Peru. Prof. Rojas shared that the typical nurse/patient ratio in Tumbes is one nurse to 30 to 40 patients, which is much higher than in the U.S., where it is typically one nurse for every five to 10 patients in general care. Students learned that there are programs in Peru that provide care for the poor financed by the government treasury.

Similar to the situation in the United States, the practice of community nursing focuses on the health of the family with great emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. The Tumbes students shared that 40 percent of their work and an entire cycle (or school term) is devoted to family care.

UW-Green Bay students learned that communicable diseases like malaria are closely monitored and reported to the “Register of Damages,” a national tracking system in Peru. Tumbes students shared that eight cases of malaria plasmodium vivax were diagnosed the prior week in their region. In the 1950s, malaria was the leading cause of death in Peru, before the National Malaria Eradication Campaign reduced the incidence by 80 percent.

Assisting as translators for the videoconference were UW-Green Bay Prof. Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz, Humanistic Studies and Spanish, and student Maria Sanchez. Dan Schrickel from Media Services facilitated the technical aspects. A perhaps surprising element of the session is that there are Packers fans in Peru — the Tumbes students congratulated the Green Bay Packers on their Super Bowl win.

UW-Green Bay and the Universidad Nacional de Tumbes have an international memorandum of understanding for educational collaboration between the schools (click here).

Profs. Derryl Block and Susan Gallagher-Lepak, Professional Program in Nursing, have been instrumental in developing this partnership and teaching online courses consisting of students from UW-Green Bay and Tumbes.