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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 1025-9848

Abstract

SMALL, Louis  and  PRETORIUS, Louise. Foreign nursing students: Their profile and perceptions of nursing care in Namibia. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.15, n.1, pp. 1-8. ISSN 1025-9848.

A survey was conducted using open and close-ended questions to determine how visiting nursing students in Namibia could be assisted during their visits (cultural encounters). Many students decide to complete their clinical exposure in a foreign country, either for personal reasons or in order to meet the course requirements for transcultural nursing. Since 1998, Namibia has received a number of these students. In discussion and from passing remarks from the students themselves, the question has arisen as to how an optimum placement for each student might be achieved. Aspects of the Campina-Bacote model and The Process of Cultural Competence in the Delivery of Health Care Services were used to answer this question. It was decided to gather both biographical (profile) information and information on perceptions of nursing care in Namibia from such foreign nursing students. The biographical (profile) information collected indicates a prevalence of certain shared biographical characteristics among international students. Such students tend to be adventurous, caring and sensitive to human rights issues. This finding correlates with the constructs of cultural desire and cultural awareness as described in the model of Campina-Bacote. Based on this finding, specific recommendations were made for clinical allocations. From the data gathered from the open-ended questions, three themes emerged: firstly, nursing in Namibia has identifiable characteristics; secondly, there is a paternalistic and one-sided communication style among nursing caregivers in Namibia; and finally, nursing care delivery in this country is often characterised by a detached attitude. It was concluded that these themes correlated with a cultural awareness and cultural knowledge among the nursing students. The discovery of these themes was useful for making recommendations for clinical guidelines to help these students adapt, as well as for providing a foundation and substantiation for clinical placement.

Keywords : Namibia; clinical exposure; transcultural nursing; transcultural competence.

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