Science + Art = Public Health

Today we spent our morning learning about the Public Health of Birmingham. I thoroughly enjoyed our speakers today, James and Adol. If you are reading, hello! When learning about public health in the UK, I enjoyed the inclusion of the definition of public health. Public Health Work being the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health throughout organized efforts of society. I really enjoy this, as I usually see public health in the US as bland, but in the UK they seem to use art and science well together. I remember during our Shakespeare tour that they were using the Macbeth hand washing scene to promote the length of time needed to wash your hands in the UK. I find that to be incredibly creative but also appealing! Singing “Happy Birthday” twice is not as original nor as cool. I think the concept of public health including and appealing to both art and science is something that is my biggest takeaway from this portion of our day. 

After our lecture, we spontaneously were invited to go to the conferences for the faculty and students back at the Botanical Gardens! We sat through a few of the conferences, but the one that resonated with me most was one by Jonathan Gabby. His conference was about a scholarly article he and his colleague wrote about Mental Health Nurses and the standards and procedures they are expected to do regardless of moral injury. Mental Health Nurses are actually seen as less than in the field by professionals if they do not seamlessly follow orders. His presentation really resonated with me and shook me at my core a bit. They way he described the expectation of a nurse, a profession usually seen in a caring light, to do some forceful actions. I believe that this resonated with me as a person because my mother is a social worker for children with behavioral problems and disabilities. I have heard from her the horror stories that go along with caring for those who hurt others or themselves. Going into my field as an educator, I know that there will be situations where actions may cause moral injury. I just hope that they are few and far between. 

After the conferences, I peeled myself away from the Botanical Gardens. (Although, this was not before I took a peak at the Japanese Garden!)

The group then went into the meeting with adult nursing students and we got to talk about how different our schooling, systems, and countries were! It was so interesting to get their perspectives on how our country is. One thing I distinctly remember was their note that New York “isn’t like how it is in the movies.” I thought this was hilarious. It was also really funny and sad to watch them be shocked by our education system and how we are learning versus how they are. The educators there were also lovely to talk to and they even gave us some of their insights into their schooling experience. I also found out that they don’t pay application fees for college applications and I am severely jealous. We also got to play nursing trivia jenga with them. I successfully, as an education major, demolished my competition (slightly joking). The thing I believe that I will take away from this was how nice the students are and how much I liked hanging around them. BCU has a good community of students and I’m glad to have met a few of them while I was here! 

Our final learning place was our trip to the simulation lab. The simulation lab, respectfully, terrified me. Seeing how well we could wash our hands, naming body parts, and practicing CPR are not things I expected to do on my trip to the UK. However, I really enjoyed the video activity at the end of our session. I felt that it gave me a real insight into a scene that my nursing student friends might deal with someday. The video was going through how to deal with patients and their loved ones in times of duress and life altering diagnoses. I have never been to a hospital during times like these, as my parents believe that it isn’t a place for someone so young to hear such horrible news. I think that seeing this simulation gave me more appreciation for the job my classmates are willingly joining, because I most certainly would not be able to tell someone that they’ve lost a limb or a loved one.

I am incredibly excited to start learning specifically about the education system tomorrow!

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