Curious about Hartwick's rural health nursing course taught each January? Read the course reflections of Dana Paganico '13, Mahopac, NY.
Rural nursing with Dr. Tina Marie Engel was a class full of field trips, group work, discussion and enriching learning opportunities. The class participated in going to a homeless shelter, a logging site and a farm. On this particular farm in Cooperstown, we were able to observe a surgery being done on a cow, which made for a good story to tell. In addition, teams of two had the opportunity to interview a farm family. The interview was based on their lifestyle and personal family life. With this information, a presentation was made to be shared with the class. The class was also honored to have NYCAMH (New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health) come and speak with us. This enhanced our learning while incorporating experiences into our own nursing practice. This type of classroom environment made learning interesting and enjoyable.
This class helped nursing students see a different perspective on an environment that we are usually not exposed to. Learning about rural people and their lifestyle opened our eyes to a whole new outlook on healthcare. It is not uncommon for most of these people to not have health insurance and therefore wait until the very last minute to get treated. If a serious issue arises, most rural people are up to an hour away from a hospital. Isolation and distance then becomes an issue. Education is very important with this type of environment in order to prevent serious illness/disease. When working on a farm, one may not realize the type of chemicals and diseases that are present. This is where nursing plays a role; a nurse as an educator and leader. Rural nursing helped to broaden our horizons and apply critical thinking skills in a whole new way.