Goodbye BCU!

05/17/2022: Today we presented our group research topics. Here is what we learned!

Kayla, Courtney, Mary, & Abbie’s presentation on mental health. Mental health is funded through NHS; it is found in all three sectors of the NHS. Specialized care is gathered through a referral via a GP. You are given up to 5 options for treatment. Talk therapy is one of the most popular and necessary options, but the wait time is quite long (almost 18 months). In certain situations, individuals would not need a referral to receive care, such as when an individual is struggling with drugs or alcohol. This group found that there was a disparity between gender and age in regard to suicide. They found that men complete suicide 2-3x more in both the UK and the US. They also found that more women struggle with depression and anxiety.

This group discussed some mental health services in the UK such as Pause and CAMHs. These free resources are amazing and do a lot to serve populations most in need. It should be noted that oftentimes these programs are not accessed because individuals do not know what they are or how to go about getting help. Obviously, a huge barrier to access is the stigma surrounding mental health treatment in both the UK and the US. As a nurse or teacher, it is important to learn about these services for the populations you serve. Further, advocacy is a key factor that actually saves lives when it comes to mental health.

Asyah, Desire, Reagan, & Lauren’s presentation on racial disparities in health care and education. This group conducted immense background research to gain an understanding of racial disparities. They found that many times education and healthcare decisions are made based on racial prejudices instead of best practices. A case study that I found really interesting was one about renal function and race; it found that women are assessed differently based on minority status. This group also highlighted medical distrust and provided background around why this is prevalent in the UK and the US.

Desire eloquently detailed several incidents in which minorities have received abuse within the healthcare system. She noted that throughout history minorities have been unjustly used for their bodies. The Tuskegee syphilis study, forced sterilizations, and systemic abuse all have contributed to this distrust. Distrust within healthcare and education is systemic. In the US we use the term BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color), whereas in the UK the term BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic).

As it has been a theme throughout the entire Plus3 Program, representation is very important. This group noted that only 20% of head nurses are Black, and the majority of educators, specifically in early education, are white. Obviously, professional disparities are jarring. This group concluded by noting several UK-based groups striving to mitigate barriers through minority-informed education. In order to be the best nurse or teacher possible, individuals need to be informed about the history and resources pertaining to minority groups.

Connor & Alec’s presentation on sexism in nursing and education. They began by discussing the idea of “pink-collar jobs.” These are jobs traditionally held by women such as nursing and social work. In the NHS over 70% of the employees are female, and at BCU the ratio of male to female is 1 to 5. Jarring statistics are bolstered through the wage gap. Alec noted that throughout their career, a female nurse can miss out on up to $150,000 in wages. This group noted that systemic sexism holds women back professionally, whereas societal sexism holds women back socially.

As we learned that the majority of university admittees are female and that females tend to out-perform males when it comes to standardized testing. Due to gendered-expectations males are still given better job opportunities, although based upon training and education, foundational this does not add up. Connor discussed leadership and societal barriers women face. He noted that the majority of academy instructors are male, and further that the majority of GPs within the NHS are male as well. This group concluded by discussing the phrase, “you must see it to be it!” Women need to see female GPs and CEOs in order to identify with them and develop agency.

Overall these presentations were a great way to develop our teamwork, speaking, and presentation skills. Both nurses and educators are expected to have a certain level of professionalism. Researching alongside the aspect of cultural immersion, and presenting has allowed me to gain more respect for all facets of education and healthcare. We were able to learn so much from the staff at BCU and each other! Plus3 has stretched me in many ways, but now, at the end our our program, I feel that I have gained a newfound sense of professionalism and confidence.

If Claire Roberts is reading this, I ordered caramel ice cream. It was delicious!

Best Ice Cream in Birmingham?
My Research Group!

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