Nursing students gain research experience in the Philippines
A group of 11 Georgia College students spent a portion of their summer break in the Bohol province of the Philippines.
The nursing students studied abroad for two weeks working with a pilot research program for the World Health Organization (WHO), examining health data from the region and experiencing the culture and lifestyle of the Filipino people.
“My American classmates and I took a research class at one of the local colleges in Bohol with 11 Filipino nursing majors,” said Aimee Jones, senior nursing major. “We were sent out into the community of Tagbilaran City to conduct research on the use of tobacco.”
For Jones, this was her first study abroad experience, one that’s given her a new perspective on her future career.
“This trip made me think about the difference I could make with the profession I am going into,” said Jones. “Seeing nurses work in a third world country and the differences they make in their community makes me proud and excited to, one day, call myself a nurse.”
For senior nursing major Brent Strickland, this was his first time visiting outside the U.S.
“I had no idea what to expect,” said Strickland. “The experience allowed me to be more open-minded and not close the door on opportunities that seem crazy, but may end up being one of the best things I have ever done.”
Jones, Strickland and others received course credit for the research experience focusing on cultural and evidence based health care.
“The students were matched with nursing students from Holy Name University,” said Dr. Martha Colvin, associate dean of the College of Health Sciences. “The major learning experience they had was participating in a pilot research study with WHO and learning from representatives about the global tobacco epidemic research study.”
Through that experience, the students learned valuable lessons about how to conduct research and tobacco use around the world.
“They were certainly able to see the pitfalls of sampling and data collection,” said Colvin. “The student’s also learned that the prevalence of smoking among females is more than twice as high in the U.S. than it is in the Philippines.”
The trip also gave students the chance to explore the Southeast Asian country.
“Our professor Dr. Flor Culpa Bondal made this trip unique for us,” said Jones. “She grew up in the area and still has family and her childhood home there. I think because she is familiar with the community and culture we were able to experience more than someone who was to come to the Philippines on their own.”
Jones and her classmates toured Sandugo, known as the blood compact monument where an agreement was made between Datu Sikatuna the Datu (Lord) of the Philippines and the Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, home of the second smallest primate in the world; and the Chocolate Hills which consist of as many as 1,776 hills spread over a 20 square mile area.
For more information on study abroad opportunities at Georgia College, visit our International Education Center’s website.
If you’re interested in learning more about the College of Health Sciences, visit gcsu.edu/health.