International Journal of Applied Science and Technology

ISSN 2221-0997 (Print), 2221-1004 (Online) 10.30845/ijast

“Slapped In the Face with It”: Internalizing Community Health Concepts from an International Practice Setting
Aliyah Mawji, RN Ph.D; Candace Lind, RN Ph.D; Sylvia Loewen, RN MN; Margot Underwood, RN MN; Roxie Thompson-Isherwood, RN, MN

Undergraduate community health nursing placement settings that incorporate international experiences hold promise for creating a rich learning environment that actively links theory concepts with practice. In 2011, a group of eight nursing students from the University of Calgary, Canada travelled to the Dominican Republic (DR) to complete their practice component in community health nursing. Students spent 12 days immersed in a local culture learning to integrate and apply community health concepts in partnership with a community. Four strong themes emerged from our data analysis: social justice, relationships, asset based community development, and personal transformation. The students who completed their community health placement in the DR gained a comprehensive understanding of a number of foundational concepts of community health and showed subsequent transferability of their knowledge to other practice settings.

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