Belmont School of Nursing students and faculty were featured in a recent edition of the Freedom’s Promise newsletter for their work during this summer’s study abroad trip to Cambodia. The nursing program has long partnered with Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE in Cambodia but is now working more and more with Freedom’s Promise to help with their efforts.
Freedom’s Promise’s mission is to prevent human trafficking and child exploitation in Cambodia through individualized community development programs resulting in trafficking-free safe zones. Through one of their programs, Belmont students interacted with villagers on a daily basis and taught them life-saving hand washing techniques. They also increased the quality of community health by providing education sessions focused on nutrition and disease prevention.
Dr. Susan Taplin, assistant professor of nursing and 2014 DNP graduate, leads the program’s efforts in Cambodia and has traveled there with students for more than 10 years.
“If you don’t take care of the illness first, you’re not going to get anywhere else. Teaching them something as simple as hand washing can increase their life expectancy and quality of life. You and I have always known to wash our hands, and we don’t know what it’s like to not have that education,” Talpin says.
Dr. Jamie Adam, assistant professor of nursing, presented her work on innovative teaching to the Healthcare Educators Networking Conference in Cambridge, United Kingdom, Sept. 2. Her presentation was titled “The flipped classroom approach: Evaluating student and faculty experiences.” The conference provided a unique experience for attendees from various healthcare disciplines to participate in sessions related to educational innovation, clinical practice, interprofessional learning and simulation. Attendees included educators from nursing, OT, PT, allied health, psychology and others representing both inpatient and outpatient settings. Participants remained within their chosen theme for the day to enjoy continuity of discussion and debate among faculty from all over the world. Dr. Martha Buckner, associate dean of nursing, said, “Dr. Adam’s work with the flipped classroom allows her to engage students more actively, encouraging them to clarify and apply knowledge. I am so pleased she is receiving both national and international attention to her work.”
Two Belmont alumnae and one current Belmont student were recently contestants on the game show “Family Feud.” Sarah Morgan is a School of Nursing alumna, and Bethany Thomas graduated from Belmont’s physical therapy program. Lindsey Thomas is currently enrolled in the pharmacy program at Belmont. All three women are also related to Professor of Media Studies Dr. Rich Tiner.
The family auditioned in June at the Hotel Preston in Nashville. The Thomas family episode was taped this summer and aired this past Tuesday.
NurseJournal.org has ranked Belmont University No. 12 among the Top 50 Most Social Media Friendly Nursing Schools of 2014.
For its ranking methodology, NurseJournal.org evaluated hundreds of nursing schools to see which have the strongest presence among social media platforms. The formula was weighted to put more emphasis on the social media platforms that are most popular with nursing schools. The highest possible score is 100, with 32 points for Facebook, 15 for Nurses Lounge, 14 for Twitter, 12 for YouTube, 12 for LinkedIn, 6 for Google, 4 for Pinterest, 4 for Flickr, and 1 for Instagram. Belmont scored a 65.4 on the ranking scale.
For the past seven weeks 18 Belmont senior-level nursing students participated in a summer internship program called Vanderbilt Experience: Student Nurse Internship Program (VESNIP) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) along with students from four other regional nursing programs. Three Belmont nursing students were awarded the highest honors at the culminating awards ceremony held Wednesday, June 25th, in the Waddington Conference Room at Monroe-Carroll Children’s Hospital. A total of seven awards were given; three went to Belmont students. VUMC credo behaviors identify those individuals that aspire to excellence and expert performance. Jennifer Bognar received the Credo Award for Psychiatric/Mental Health Track, Gabrielle Pappas received the Credo Award for the Perioperative Track, and Sarah Steele received the Credo Award for the Women’s Health Track. Dr. Leslie A. Folds, who coordinates this program for Belmont School of Nursing, states that, “It is clear that our students continue to incorporate the mission, vision, and values of Belmont University in their interactions with patients, families, and the entire healthcare team. Our students consistently pursue excellence.”
Cambodia. A small country in Southeast Asia. A country that has changed me.
The first time I came to Cambodia, I knew that I was being offered a life-altering trip. I was traveling alone for the first time, well, really I guess just without my parents. I was investing in a new culture. I was seeing devastating poverty with my own two eyes. I was learning what true joy looks like. And greatest of all, I was trying to share the same love with others that Jesus has for me.
Little did I know that two years later I would be attending a wedding as a bridesmaid for one of my very best friends. A friendship that blossomed over a friendly smile and a broken conversation due to poor translation.
My best friend's name is Chhay, and today I had the honor to stand beside him and his beautiful wife, Dany, to celebrate God's faithfulness as they joined their lives together. Today was filled with great happiness and celebration.
Friday was a traveling day for us. We had a relaxing breakfast by the pool at our hotel in Battambang, then hopped on the bus for the five hour drive back to Phnom Penh. On the way we were able to stop and get Cambodian potato chips, which we all loved.
Once in Phnom Penh we had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Anise (the air conditioned room won us over).
We took advantage of our free time after dinner and a few people got massages and pedicures while others relaxed and unpacked. We are all happy to be back at Golden Gate Hotel for a few more days.
Today, we all woke up at 4 am in order to go see the sunrise at Angkor Watt, the famous temple. We all arrived just as the sun was coming up and were greeted with an incredible sunrise, something really worth getting up for. After the sunrise was over we ventured into the actual temple to look around at all of the beautiful architecture and layout of Angkor Watt. I was really amazed at the size of the temple and of the thought that must have gone into the layout prior to laying the first stone. After Angkor Watt, we went to a different series of temples, all similar yet very different than Angkor. I felt endlessly impressed and taken aback to the beauty and effort that was put forth while building these temples. I only wish that they had been preserved better by the people.
Some days are bigger than others. Yesterday was a big day.
We began the day working with a rural community outside of Battambang, preforming skits on hand washing and the dangers of smoking. Afterwards, we toured Handa and World Mate hospital and clinic facilities where we sang hymns with some of the staff and patients. Some of us even had the opportunity to give blood, a service much needed in Cambodia. As we left the doors of the hospital, our schedule did not slow down. We then went directly to the Bamboo Train, a tourist attraction in Battambang, and this is where I want to spend most of my time writing.
Last year on the trip, I met a young man named "P." I'm not sure how to spell his name, but I know that it is pronounced like the letter. P and I got pretty close in the short time we spent together at his village, which is a 15 minute stop on the train for tourists to buy handmade Cambodian goods and snacks. Last year P gave me a tour of his home and of the brick-making factory where his family worked. This year I was so excited to return and see P, hoping that he would remember me out of all of the white, American tourists he sees yearly.
On Wednesday we took a van to a village 2 hours outside of Bottambong. We drive an hour on a paved road and an hour on an incredibly bumpy dirt road. When we finally got to the village all of the people were very excited to see us. The people there knew little about basic hygiene so we taught them about hand washing and why it is important. We also did blood pressures and prayed with some of the adults that were feeling sick. It was an exciting experience being in a Cambodian village. We got a chance to really love on all of the people there. We played duck, duck, goose and a couple other games with the children and they loved it. In the afternoon we went to a bible study and midweek service with a local Church of Christ. It still amazes me how happy and welcoming everyone is here. They are always smiling and excited to see you.