Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive!

Today was a busy day! We heard from many wonderful people talking about health care. We started off the morning with two speakers from public health backgrounds in the UK. Then, we went back to the botanical gardens for a health conference and heard from a few speakers there. After the health conference, we went back to BCU and talked to so,e nursing students from BCU about the differences between the nursing system in the US and UK. Finally, we finished our day off by visiting the SPACE lab, a sim lab for nursing.

While we heard from and talked to others today, each lecture had a distinct concept to go along with it. Starting with James and Aldo, our two speakers came in and talked to us about public health. The concept I got from their talk was “everything is always changing.” The reason why is that, although there are some set items, what makes those items set are what is changing. For example, they talked to us about the definition of health. As part of that definition, it clearly says that a person can not have a disease or infirmity. What makes this interesting is that people with disabilities may have a problem with this definition. Someone who is disabled could be in top, physical, peak condition. And yet, this definition says that, because of their disability, they are not a healthy person. I find it very strange that the infirmity part is still there, even though modern medicine has advanced since that definition was created to the point where the infirmity part needs to be done away with. And when they talked about cigarettes in the UK, cigarettes in the UK have grotesque images in them showing the downsides of smoking. Here in the US, we just have one little warning label on it. I think the US needs to catch up with the UK on the warning labels. Although moving the smoking age to 21 was a good step, it is still not enough. But, everything is changing though from what is on warning labels to how we deal with certain definitions.

The health conference today presented me with the second concept. The concept I got from the conference was “take what you can and apply it to yourself.” As someone who is going into the education field, I was not totally sure how I was going to be able to take anything away from the health conference and apply it to the education field. However, during the first lecture we listened to, I was able to take some things away from it. While I did not understand the health part of the lecture, the overall lecture had to deal with students not getting everything they need during their education before going into the health field. What I was able to take away was the idea that things I may not need to teach, could be able to help students once they go off into the real world someday in the future.

While talking with the students in nursing from BCU, the third concept came to me. It was the concept “you learn something new everyday.” While talking with them, I learned a whole lot about the British education system as well. For starters, there are no tests they have to take to get certified as a nurse unlike the US. They also found it shocking that us Americans had to pay for SATs, college application forms, and that we don’t get refunded for our applications if we don’t get accepted into the university we applied for. I also took away that BCU students have a different calendar. While they run January to January or September to September, we run from August to May. It was really fascinating also talking about things that are common in the US (like going 75 mph on the interstate) that are not something that’s common over in the UK.

Finally, the SPACE lab gave me the concept of “take care of what you have.” While there, we went through a simulation where a patient had to get his leg amputated and we had to deal with everything after the procedure. It mostly dealt with the emotions of two family members and the patient himself after the procedure. While going through it, I thought to myself that something like this could happen to me at any time. Although his injury was an accident, it is something that would affect his life and his families for the rest of his life.

Today was definitely a day to look at new things and see what other things we could learn so we can remember in the future. Tomorrow, we start the education portion of the program! I can’t wait to see what we will talk about and what we will see on the rest of the trip!

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