Welcome to our first stab at group blogging for the IHP! We are four students and one professor traveling to India on an international immersion experience. We are all 3rd year Direct Entry Nursing students; we are here with the main intention of obtaining inspiration and substance for our culminating scholarly projects before we graduate in May 2014! We are Daniel Barrios (adult/gerontology), Kristen Palleo (family), Leah Rubin (family), and Diane Hazel (pediatrics). Our professor, Elissa Ladd, PhD, RN, FNP-BC was a Fulbright scholar here at Manipal University in 2012, where she taught nursing research to local students for six months. She has brought us back to Manipal to learn about the Indian culture and healthcare system.
We departed Boston on December 31, 2013 and will return on January 30, 2014. Since arriving in India, we have been greeted with nothing but friendly faces, curious eyes, welcoming words, and helpful guidance from the local faculty, staff, and students. They have offered us opportunities to learn about the Indian healthcare system including tours of:
- Kasturba Medical Center, a 2,200 teaching hospital in Manipal
- An Ayurvedic Hospital, an ancient form of Indian medicine
- The yoga department where yoga is taught as a directed, and specific form of healing
- A Naturopathy Hospital, where health is maintained through yoga, massage, water baths, diet, etc.
We have also explored a local village called Malpe, where the 2nd year BSc nursing students are completing their community health rotation. We tagged along and visited families in the village where we were able to ask questions about their health and wellness practices. This information will directly support our scholarly project papers!
Some aspects of our travel have been challenging; the heat can be oppressive and exhausting at times, the noise and traffic can make your head spin, and the language barrier often poses difficulties in communication. These are all part of the travel experience and we are embracing them one day at a time. My fellow travelers will be writing separate blogs to give more insight into specific areas including western vs. eastern medicine, culture, temples, village life, and local cuisine!
Our group is the first of, what will hopefully be many, to have the opportunity to participate in this exciting opportunity. We look forward to paving the way and blogging as we go!
Diane Hazel, RN, MPH
3rd Year DEN, Pediatrics