Student Nurses' Cultural Perceptions and Insights regarding an Education Experience in Russia

By Benson, Jodi; Melgard, Margaret et al. | Multicultural Education, Spring 2002 | Go to article overview

Student Nurses' Cultural Perceptions and Insights regarding an Education Experience in Russia


Benson, Jodi, Melgard, Margaret, Trebil, Michelle, Heuer, Loretta, Multicultural Education


Introduction

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in foreign travel which allows student nurses to take part in international nursing programs. In response to the increased interest, many American universities are offering student nurses opportunities to study in countries as diverse as England, India, Mexico, Japan, China, and Australia. The main goals of these programs are to expose student nurses to nursing practice, education, health care, and the culture of the host country. Such educational experiences allow student nurses to gain an understanding and respect for people of other cultures (Duffy, Harju, Huittinen, & Trayner, 1999).

At a Midwest university, three faculty members developed a program entitled An Educational and Cultural Program: Nursing and Health Care in Russia / USA to provide a short-term cultural experience for student nurses. Eight student nurses (four graduate, one RN-BSN, and four generic baccalaureates) took part in this program in which they designed a pediatric module and taught it to Russian health care providers. Student nurses lived with host families and took part in various socialization activities.

The following are stories of three student nurses who chose to share their perceptions and personal insights regarding their cultural experiences.

Participant One

I made the decision to participate in an international nursing program because I felt it would be a wonderful experience for growth, both personally and professionally. This was my first experience traveling overseas, and I was unsure of what to expect. The preparation for the trip gave me some ideas of what the culture was like, but I found that reading about a culture and actually experiencing it is at opposite ends of the spectrum. I was in a state of culture shock for the first two days. The difficult part was that prior to this trip, I knew only one other student taking part so I felt alone in trying to adjust to the new culture. This aloneness was short lived however, when I soon found that others were having similar experiences. I believe this trip drew us closer as a group, and taught us to rely on each other in a country where none of us spoke the language or understood the culture.

We had the opportunity to experience many different aspects of the Russian culture. The one theme that remains with me is the overwhelming poverty of many of the Russian people. The apartments lacked adequate wiring, plumbing, and refrigeration, and they were very small but yet they frequently housed extended family members. The positive side of the homes was the warm hospitality that Russian family members showed us. The Russian family that I stayed with did everything in their power to see that I was satisfied and comfortable with my accommodations.

The health facilities that our group toured left me feeling very thankful for what we have in the United States. While touring the facilities, I felt as if I was in a museum because the equipment and technology used in Russia appeared to be at least fifty years behind that of the United States. I was absolutely amazed.

Through this experience, I learned that being immersed into another culture is very difficult, both physically and emotionally. I do not know ifI could have better prepared myself for this experience but I believe the absolute immersion without any preconceived notion - although a culture shock - was a learning experience in itself. As a result of this program, I feel that I have an advantage in providing culturally appropriate care and education. I learned to understand what it must be like for others who are immersed in my culture and how they must feel the aloneness I felt during my first few days abroad. In my future as a health care professional, I believe my patients will benefit from this knowledge.

Participant Two

Initially the thought of traveling to Russia was more appealing to me than the academic component of the courses. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Student Nurses' Cultural Perceptions and Insights regarding an Education Experience in Russia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.