Written by Holly Wilkens ’18
This post was written in response to Holly’s experiences in Zambia during the fall 2017 3-week term led by Professors Amber Chenoweth and Emily McClung.
Today, we went to The University of Zambia School of Nursing Sciences. We got to talk to Dorothy who is one of the professors, who is also a midwife and a nurse. She is family orientation, where everyone knew everyone and they all socialized almost everyday at one house. It was interesting to hear that she knew she was accepted into the nursing program in Nigeria due to her intelligence, and not because of her gender. It shows that the gender roles here and over back home, in the States, have similarities and contrasts when it comes to gender roles. Dorothy is also an advocate for male nurses, for they too can be compassionate even though the stereotype is that they are tough and have no feelings. Over in the U.S., there are male nurses, but not that many. There has been an increase in male nurse employment to have some gender diversity within the medical field. It can be odd that there are men as nurses due to the stereotype our society has placed on nursing, but it gives them and their patients the opportunity to discuss why the gentlemen wanted to become nurses instead of doctors or other career choices.
Speaking of career choices, we were able to talk to some of the nursing students. I was able to talk to a lovely woman and the male captain of the class. Both of them were quite inquisitive during our conversation. I was discussing with the woman about Hiram’s nursing program and compared academics between the States and Zambia. She was surprised on how young most of us were due to their culture of most people our age being married and working towards getting an education. The best part was that in her program during their fifth year they learn how to teach and manage other nurses, thus increasing their skills in leadership. I then discussed with the male captain about technology and how sometimes it can distance people from each other. This conversation was more difficult, because of the differences in technology between the States and Zambia. He did think that technology can give students and others the opportunity to connect more with others.
Overall the conversations were great and I was able to learn a lot from them. I cannot wait to see how much more I will learn and grow!