Norfolk Practical Nursing Students Take Field Trip

Norfolk Practical Nursing Students Visit Virginia Wesleyan College (VWC) Take a Field Trip…

The third semester, Norfolk Practical Nursing (PN) students at Centura College had the opportunity to go on a field trip with their Maternal-Newborn instructor to Virginia Wesleyan College (VWC) in November. The instructor, Kathy Hubbard, volunteers outside of work for a consumer birth education group called Birth Matters Virginia, and was invited to host a facilitated discussion for Ms. Sharon Payne’s students at VWC. Ms. Payne teaches Human Sexuality at VWC and is an advocate for women’s rights and informed, safe birthing options. The Centura and VWC students separately viewed the documentary film, “The Business of Being Born” to prepare them for the discussion and met at the VWC campus. The goal of the discussion for the Centura PN students was to focus on the role of the nurse in supporting low intervention, high touch labor and delivery practices.

Learning something new…

The students from both colleges engaged in a critique of the film. The Centura students, who had completed their clinical rotation in a local hospital’s labor and delivery/postpartum/nursery unit, recounted the events they witnessed during their rotation. As student nurses, they were able to connect the “why” and the science they saw in the film, with medical theory, but were left “shocked” at the emotional outcome for many of the parents in the film, who were clearly uneducated about the process of birth. They spoke openly about the benefits, risks and differences between home, birth center and hospital birth, and helped educate the VWC students about the anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and childbirth.

Applying what we have learned to the conversation…

The Centura Norfolk Practical Nursing students approached this trip with the training and experiences they had at learned at Centura College and realized that made them the medical “experts” in the discussion. According to our Centura Norfolk Practical Nursing students, the benefits of the outing were profound. They enjoyed the interaction with peers from another school and discipline, the new perceptions they gained by the experience and the lasting emotions elicited by the film. Discussions about the field trip continued for several days after, and throughout the school childbirth related topics on nursing theory and interventions could be heard, “nurse to nurse.”

Originally written by:  KATHY HUBBARD,  Centura College, Norfolk, Virginia

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