While working on my earlier post about the cost of medical voluntourism I came across a review from a student who participated in the volunteering program. Her name is Rashae and she is a Nursing student. She participated in the Midwifery in Ghana. She talked about her experience and the actual placement. “As I showed initiative and effort I was taught to perform various medical assignments that included administering medications intravenously and intramuscularly, collecting vital signs, and performing vaginal exams.” As I read this my mind automatically jumped to what we talked about in class. Students performing tasks they are not qualified to do.
Many of my coworkers are currently in nursing programs. They often talk about the realistic simulation labs they have in school. These labs provide a safe way to practice and assess newly learned techniques. However, they are also very expensive. This made me wonder if developing countries have such technology for their students. (I could not find any information on college of nursing websites in Ghana) If they do not, are students are expected to learn on the job or during clinical residency? The nurses Rashae worked very closely must’ve had confidence in her and felt comfortable with teaching her techniques to the point where she was able to administer medication. It also seems like she was not just thrown into the mix of things but actually gradually progressed in her learning.
I do not know much about the culture or education systems in developing countries. When someone who lives in the country and received their education there is willing to teach in a hands manner, would it make acceptable? I am sure many students are just driven by epistemophilia and the people they work with should put more restrictions on what the students are allowed to perform on their trip. Although this seemed like an amazing experience for her, I think the right thing to do should have been just to shadow the nurses and she should have waited to finish her program at her university before administering any medication.