The Siren Song of Global Health electives in Nepal July 2016


The siren song of Global Health in Nepal

this is for my USA readers. Most of the time I comment on events here in Nepal it’s directed to a Nepali audience. Not this time.

In USA these days the wish to include a Global Health experience into education is stronger than ever. For medicine, nursing, public health, and other specialties, the college or University graduate programs are testing the waters for clinical placements of various kinds. Nepal has always been an adventuresome choice for brave souls, and Nepal has a mystique about it that beckons.

Expanding the menu

The vast majority of North Americans go to just one or two locales in Nepal for an elective, and these are getting crowded. The magic gets diluted when it becomes a stop on the international trail. For example, one of the more popular places is now hosting up to a hundred foreigners at any given time. This changes the nature of the experience. A related question is “With twenty medical colleges in Nepal, why is it that only two or three become the hosts of the foreigners?”

Serving as a resource

At the spring 2016 meeting of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, I met many people who asked if I’d share contact information at all the places I go, and give advice as to what medical services were offered. So I plan to compile a sort of offbeat guidebook to the  hospitals and schools with which I interface.

I’ll include photos, a description of the geographical location, pics of the buildings, and contact information of key people at each place.

Travel agency?

Um, no. I’m not a booking agency. I think there are many different levels in which a professional person can participate in global health. My audience for this would be people with bonafide credentials that wish to gain perspective. This is not ” trekking with toothbrushes”nor is it volunteering at an orphanage or teaching English to Tibetan exiles. Those are worthwhile for some people, but not related to what I do when I am here.

So be on the lookout. If you have questions, send me an email.

 

About Joe Niemczura, RN, MS

Experienced nursing educator and problem-solver. I have fifteen years of USA nursing faculty background. Add it with fifteen more devoted to adult critical care. In Nepal, I started teaching critical care skills in 2011. I figure out what they need to know in a Nepali practice setting. Then I teach it in a culturally appropriate way so that the boots-on-the-ground people will use it. I travel outside of Kathmandu Valley as well. When the recent violence happened, I knew the cities - I had trained people in those locations. One theme of my work has been collective culture and how it manifests itself in anger. Because this was a problem I incorporated elements of "situational awareness" training from the beginning, in 2011. Global Health Nursing is not all sweetness and light; not solely milk & honey and happy moms and babies.
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