Nursing Students Assist Refugee Families with Medical Challenges
Once again, the IRC in Baltimore’s Public Health Program has partnered with the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Schools of Nursing to pair nursing students with newly arrived refugee families who are facing medical challenges. Fourteen nursing students from both schools are completing their clinical rotation with the IRC in Baltimore as part of their Community and Public Health nursing courses. Working with the IRC in Baltimore gives nursing students the “opportunity to synthesize all their learning with the added benefit of learning cultural aspects of care,” according to Stephanie Streb, R.N., clinical instructor for University of Maryland School of Nursing. “None of the students have worked with refugees before, but they all selected the IRC site placement.” The cultural aspect is also a draw for the Johns Hopkins students. “This placement has the benefit of learning about the perception of healthcare from the refugees’ county,” said Kristen Weinhauer, R.N., clinical educator for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. “It creates an exchange of learning between nurses and refugees.”
The nursing students are tasked with looking at the family’s health holistically, and often visit the family’s home to provide consultation and advice. In the home, nurses can observe the roles that environment, culture and family dynamics play in creating a healthy family. Refugee families are selected for the program by their case workers because of the medical challenges they face, such as cancer, physical disabilities, high-risk pregnancies, diabetes, and injuries resulting from torture.