Christian Nursing in the Philippines

Nurses in the United States experience one of the most sophisticated healthcare systems in the world while nurses working in developing countries practice in conditions that are considerably less complex. This course exposes nursing students to some of the unique nursing care situations of a developing country while allowing them to interact with other nursing students in Christian nursing programs.

Students experience nursing in several different settings in the Philippines, exposing them to both the large urban area of Manila as well as the smaller towns of San Fernando and Dumaguete. Opportunities to live, work and study alongside Philippine nursing students broadens Calvin students’ understanding of Philippine culture.

In addition, the close partnership of student to student provides many opportunities to develop an understanding of the expectations and responsibilities of a Philippine nurse and a developing health care system. Experiences occur in Christian hospitals and with Christian nursing programs, challenging the student to consider the role of the Christian nurse in a developing country.

Growth in cultural awareness and ability to interact with those of the Philippine culture is expected. Students travel on the large island of Luzon province as well as on the smaller island of Negros Oriental. This allows students to see the striking contrast between wealth and poverty in Manila and the poverty of those living in the countryside. The beautiful tropical setting provides a backdrop for a culture of gentle people who have experienced major influences of the Spanish and Americans.

The majority of the course involves experiencing nursing in both acute and community nursing settings in company with a Filipino student, with informal lectures and reflective discussions.

Preparation for the course includes two orientation sessions prior to travel as well as preparatory readings.

Student evaluation is based on the pre-trip meetings, a required journal, presentations and participation in course activities.