STUDENT ATTITUDES REGARDING GLOBAL HEALTH POLICY DURING AN INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL IMMERSION PROGRAM IN GUATEMALA
Jones-Locklear, Jennifer Dawn
As the world population explodes the need for health professionals who have positive attitudes toward cultural diversity and a willingness to learn about other cultures is essential to providing optimal care to these often-marginalized individuals. Presuppositions may hinder both personal and professional growth. However, with the right exposure to other cultures, such as what occurs during an international cultural immersion program, individuals are provided an opportunity to learn about cultural, economic, and healthcare differences in a developing country as compared to their pre-existing knowledge of these same variables in their home country. The purposes of this dissertation were to examine the reflective journal writings of 75 health professions students to better understand how their experiences allowed for the expression of attitudes related to global health policy and to determine how transformative learning was expressed. Participants for this study were predominantly White females (n=63; 84%), less than 23 years in age (n=69; 92%), with a declared nursing major (n=57; 76%). Manuscript 1 sought to examine how health professions students' attitudes evolved toward global health, specifically global health policy, over a 6-year time span. The purpose of this study was to examine students' attitudes, through reflective writings, regarding global health policy during an international cultural immersion program in Guatemala. Content analysis led to thematic interpretation of the data, where two investigators came to consensus on three themes: (a) Caring in a Resource Poor Country, (b) Divided Opinions on Immigration, and (c) Cultural Impact on Women's Rights. Findings for this study indicated that poverty and its harsh effects on health and quality of life allowed students to better understand that developed countries suffer from lack of resources, which limits access to healthcare. Other findings demonstrated that both Guatemalans and participants were divided on the topic of immigration, and lastly gender inequality was observed. Participants developed attitudes suggesting a better understanding of human rights issues and a greater need for humanitarian efforts from both government and non-governmental agencies. Manuscript 2 sought to understand transformative learning in the context of an international cultural immersion program. The purpose of this study was to examine participant writings to determine how transformative learning was expressed. Content analysis led to thematic interpretation of the data, where two investigators came to consensus on three themes: (a) Beyond Privilege, (b) Shift in Positionality, and (c) Regarding Social Justice. Findings of this study suggested that participants moved beyond their bias and judgmental attitudes toward another culture to developing attitudes of understanding and a willingness to be open-minded. They also began to move toward a greater worldview in which they not only challenged themselves and their way of thinking but began to challenge others in how they think and act. Lastly, they saw the injustices that marginalized individuals face with regard to healthcare. In both studies, poverty was seen as the major contributing factor to the issues faced by the Guatemalan people. Participants moved from singleness of thinking to a desire to act both at home and abroad to improve quality of life, healthcare access, and to be more culturally sensitive to others. Further research is needed to determine the long-term effects international cultural immersion programs have on practice and professional development.
Jones-Locklear, Jennifer Dawn. (December 2018). STUDENT ATTITUDES REGARDING GLOBAL HEALTH POLICY DURING AN INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL IMMERSION PROGRAM IN GUATEMALA (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7058.)
Jones-Locklear, Jennifer Dawn. STUDENT ATTITUDES REGARDING GLOBAL HEALTH POLICY DURING AN INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL IMMERSION PROGRAM IN GUATEMALA. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, December 2018. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7058. February 17, 2020.
Jones-Locklear, Jennifer Dawn, “STUDENT ATTITUDES REGARDING GLOBAL HEALTH POLICY DURING AN INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL IMMERSION PROGRAM IN GUATEMALA” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, December 2018).
Jones-Locklear, Jennifer Dawn. STUDENT ATTITUDES REGARDING GLOBAL HEALTH POLICY DURING AN INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL IMMERSION PROGRAM IN GUATEMALA [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; December 2018.
East Carolina University