Nursing Students Help Aboriginal Youth Consider University Education | News

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A group of sophomore nursing students are hoping that opening the doors (literally) of the University of Calgary to 23 Grades 10, 11 and 12 students at Morley Community School (MCS) will help these high school students consider a future in academia and maybe even a career in nursing.

This is the third group of nursing students from instructor Melanie Lind-Kosten’s Community Health Nursing Practice courses to be invited to MCS in the past year and a half.

“The internship was initially set up in the fall of 2018 in response to calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission regarding Indigenous health issues and understanding Indigenous health practices, ”she explains. .

The nursing students attended school once a week for two months to teach science and math, develop relationships with young people, and learn about the richness of Stoney Nakoda cultures.

The responses from MCS have been really positive, ”says Julie Patmore, one of the eight nursing staff at UCalgary. “A lot of the kids were shy when we first worked with them and it was disheartening as we felt like we weren’t giving them anything of value. But all it took was a little time and listening.

Instructor Melanie Lind-Kosten with her group of N289 students on the day of the Morley student visit.

  • Photo above, back row from left: Julie Patmore, Jason Batac, Alice Choi, Vinnie Ma, Bisma Tahir. Front row from left to right: Melanie Lind-Kosten, Emily Flanagan, Paulina Eugenio. Missing: Denise Irlanda.

The MCS students were then invited to campus to visit the Nursing Clinical Simulation Learning Center and even got to experience hands-on learning about CPR and how to take vital signs.

“The principal of the school, Sheldon Couillonneur, expressed a desire to bring the kids to college to inspire them and show them what college life would be like,” says Vinnie Ma. “It was important for them to come because if they don’t have a vision of what education can do for them, then they won’t have the motivation to work hard in high school. But I also think that being in their school has already helped inspire them.

Nursing student Alice Choi agrees. “Many of the students I spoke to at MCS weren’t sure what they wanted to do in the future, which is totally understandable. I hope bringing them to campus and showing them the life of a nursing student has sparked some inspiration or ideas. I would like to think that at least one of them will consider nursing training.

Lind-Kosten says that the wishes of the Morley community have more young people enrolled in nursing or other science programs align with the Indigenous initiatives of UCalgary. “I congratulate all of these teachers at Morley who do a great job with the limited resources they have,” she says. “And I am extremely proud of my students for all they have accomplished and learned about the aboriginal peoples of Canada.

Morley students have the opportunity to try hands-on training with nursing CPR mannequins.

Student Emily Flanagan with students from Morley as they try out nursing CPR mannequins.

Nursing students, on the other hand, feel they have received as much, if not more, than they gave. Choi says she has developed important skills such as patience, understanding and how to practice client-centered care, which will be fundamental during her time as a nursing student and in her future as a registered nurse. For Ma, it’s about not taking his education for granted and working hard to be successful so that he can continue working with communities in need.

At first glance, MCS looked like any other high school, ”he says. “However, as I worked with the children and learned more about school, I began to realize that there were inequalities. For my part, I was driving 10 minutes a day to get to my high school and not once did I have to worry about how I was going to finish my studies.

“In the future, I will always take a more in-depth look at situations because that is how I will find the root causes of problems and truly understand the situation.”

“The most important thing for me to remember was to witness the resilience of the community,” says Patmore. “In our theory classes, we learn about the disparities and systemic discrimination faced by Indigenous populations in Canada, and how these disparities impact their health. Through this internship, I have seen some of these disparities manifest in intimidating ways. However, the strength shown by the community through their compassion for one another and pride in what they share is impossible to ignore. “

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