Journal of Undergraduate Research


mentoring nursing students, refugee, immigrant public, global health course




The following excerpt from a student’s reflective journal illustrates that academic objectives were met (used with permission): “I have learned a lot from this population and this knowledge has allowed my attitudes to develop and mature in understanding of this high-risk population. Refugees are a misunderstood and, many times, forgotten population that have experienced extensive trauma. I worked with many people on my mission that came from these backgrounds but I never had the opportunity to help them in this type of a setting. I have come to realize that for many people, their story will never be truly known because it is lost in the traumatic holes of their lives. Therefore, it is up to me, no matter how I am treated, to be kind and Christ-like because some of these people have never been able to trust and it is not really their fault. I need to make choices that are in the best interest of the patient while also extending charity. With that thought, I think that with charity comes a degree of advocacy. Without language fluency, money, education or connections, these people are in an extremely vulnerable position. They need people to lean on and they need people to speak for them. I would like to somehow provide more refugees with in-home visits – whether that be from local nursing schools or from a community organization – because I feel that this will help develop a system of support that provides a voice to those who are unable to speak. When we attended the refugee conference I realized just how many issues need reform and need some sort of change to be made. I believe that if enough healthcare professionals are made aware of these issues that it can and will change. In summary, I have learned that I have to do something. Not many people have the opportunity to see the lives of adjusting refugees as I have which endows me with a degree of responsibility to advocate where and when possible.”

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