Our day at BCU today was unexpected but exciting. We began the morning with a presentation by James Gilli and Aldo Mussi. They provided us with a rundown of public health in the UK. I learned a number of new things during this presentation like the fact that schools and educators both play a major role in public health. I also thought it was really interesting to look at all the different public health organizations present in the UK including the national UK government, local governments present in the UK, Europe- wide organizations, global organizations, and other different UK organizations and charities. While all of this was very informative I think the most important aspect of this presentation that I will remember is the actual definition of public health. All this time I thought I knew what the term was referring to for the most part but there is actually so much more that the term entails to. According to the definition, public health is “ the science & art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts of society.”I previously thought public health solely referred to the general well- being of the public or health services for the public to use, however I learned that this interdisciplinary term not only monitors infectious diseases but also encompasses a range of efforts to ensure that the community is in good health. This definition helped me to understand that public health is crucial to healthcare systems because it provides individuals, especially those who may not have easy access to health services with, organizations, and overall society with the ability to effectively combat preventable diseases, mortalities, and debilities.
After our lecture on public health we headed to the botanical gardens to hear some speakers present at the Healthcare Leaders Forum held there. We had time to watch just a few presentations since we also had to grab some lunch here too. The first presentation we watched was about radiology. During this presentation we also learned we were in the wrong lecture room and headed over to Loudon room, where the correct lecture we were to attend was held. The next presenter began talking about mobility. However my favorite presentation that stuck with me the most was concerning student nurses placed in jails and prisons for clinical practice and the fact that they enjoyed their experiences. When first hearing this I put myself in the student nurses’ shoes and thought about how extremely nervous I would be had my clinical training experiments taken place in a hospital. However by the end of the presentation four main themes were identified in the students’ experiences and I understood why they felt as though they benefited from their time there. Students agreed that the first day was overwhelming with the shock of being in a prison and a feeling of being unable to leave, however they also felt as though they had a very good level of safety in healthcare with lots of security always present. Furthermore students felt as though the strict conditions and routine of the prison provided them with a structured learning environment that enhanced their clinical practice, and lastly students felt that this experience challenged their preconceptions as the portrayal of prisoners in the media is always violent and negative but as the lecturer explained most prisoners are very sweet and grateful of nurses because they feel lucky that they are able to have access to healthcare.
Next was the celebration of international nurses day with student adult nurses at the university. Although I didn’t learn anything particularly important during this time, I really enjoyed being able to just have a conversation with other students, especially nursing, at the university. They were all super nice and friendly and seemed as genuinely interested in learning about us and our experiences in America as we were with them and their lives here. We all spoke about how each of our nursing careers works and saw many differences between them that we previously were aware of like the difference in the amount of schooling we do and requirements to practice in the field. I think what I liked most about our time with the students though was that even after talking about how different the UK and US is when it comes to being a nursing student, when we all played jenga together we collectively struggled on questions that we should as nursing students know, it was nice to see were all a little lost sometimes!
The last thing on our agenda today was the skills lab. Before entering we all had to put on masks, goggles, and aprons. When we entered we had some fun skills lab rotations to do including a hand washing demonstration with ultraviolet light to illuminate germs, an anatomy quiz, and basic life support exercises. We rotated through the three of these skills before sitting down to view a video including questions with scenarios. This was the most important part of the skills lab to me. Personally, I sometimes forget that as a nurse I won’t solely be delivering care to sick patients, I will also have to deal with the family of this patient and care for them as well. I thought the video in the skills lab was a great demonstration of the possible situations I will eventually run into as a nurse and how I will deliver bad news to patients, or support them with their needs and questions whatever those may be, because this isn’t something I often think about doing even though it will be a major part of my job that I need to be able to perform .