News

CURE program provides student mentorship in a hospital setting

  • February 24, 2017
  • News

The Pediatric Urology service at McMaster Children’s Hospital is made up of a small clinical team consisting of two pediatric urologists and two pediatric nurse practitioners. In addition to the clinical workload, the team also conducts research and currently has four active clinical trials, in addition to maintaining data influx into nine prospectively collected databases.

Continuously increasing research activity led to the need for additional resources and that, in turn, led the team to initiate the development of the Clinical Urology Research Enterprise (CURE) program.

The CURE program is designed to provide clinical research experience and mentorship in a hospital setting for volunteer university students. Students have an opportunity to learn the research process and gain transferable skills usable in future careers while aiding the Pediatric Urology service to conduct and disseminate quality research.

The required time commitment for each volunteer is 6-8 hours per week for six months, with the option of returning for additional terms. Upon completion of the six-month volunteer term, students receive a letter of reference upon request. The program provides volunteers the opportunity to assist with scholarly works outside of their CURE Program commitments. Since its inception in July 2015, the program has had four cycles of CURE volunteers. Most volunteers are extremely satisfied with their experiences and remain in the program for several terms.

Recently the CURE team was pleased to see one of its volunteers, Nandini Nandeesha, Level IV BScN Student, McMaster University participate in an international women’s and children’s health conference. Read on to learn more about Nandini’s experience.

Nursing Students Represent McMaster at an international conference on the Impact of Global Issues on Women & Children

Representing McMaster University, a team of nine students attended an international women’s and children’s health conference at Manipal University, India. The conference was hosted by Manipal School of Nursing and welcomed over 500 delegates from 19 countries. The event also reached out to members of various disciplines involved in global health including scientists, environmentalists, nurses, physicians, midwives, nutritionists, politicians and social workers. This year’s theme was the impact of Global Issues on Women and Children. In collaboration with Manipal University nursing students, we were involved in conference planning and facilitation during workshops. In addition, we facilitated group discussion during “chat sessions” on topics such as HIV/AIDS, globalization and the aging process. A few of us had the opportunity of presenting our own research during oral and poster presentations.

mcmasterCURE

The five days spent at Manipal was truly an educationally enriching experience and we all came back with new perspectives on global health. I was fascinated by variations in the nursing curriculum that existed based on geographical region. For example, Japan has disaster nursing embedded in their nursing curriculum to prepare students for providing care to survivors after events such as earthquakes and typhoons. This knowledge was also used internationally to prepare countries like Bangladesh in the event of a natural disaster.

Furthermore, it was thought provoking to see how strategies developed in western parts of the world were being used to promote health and wellbeing in the east and in developing countries. For example, CycleBeads is used as part of the Standard Days Method, a fertility awareness-based family planning method. It helps prevent unwanted pregnancies and also allows to optimize on a female’s fertilize period. This method was initially developed by researchers at Georgetown University and is now being used by millions of women in countries like Rwanda, India and Egypt.

We also learned about the value of a community approach to nursing. When implementing new initiatives, we learned strategies for knowledge dissemination to rural communities as well as how to mobilize a team of people that can take charge of their own health as well as the health of their local communities. For example, strategies such as educating women so that women can educate families, and educating village seniors who can then advocate for the well-being of their entire village.

Coming back home, we hope to encourage students to broaden their horizons and look at issues occurring around the world. Living in a first-world nation, we are far more privileged and as students having the opportunity to attend post-secondary institutions, we have the ability to give back to our global community right here from home. A part of that begins with heightening our awareness to women’s and children’s health needs on a global scale. Furthermore, we hope to bring education to developing parts of the world and equip them with the knowledge on how to use the education for health promotion. Given the profession we’re already in, nurses are at the frontline of healthcare. We are leaders universally and this allows us to connect on a global level. Therefore we hope to learn from each other and adapt effective care strategies that are being used around the world to improve the care we provide to our patients.

Author: Nandini Nandeesha, Level IV BScN Student, McMaster University

For more information about CURE, contact Mandy Rickard  rickardm@hhsc.ca