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Finland & Russia 2012

This was the first year for this clinical site that turned out to be a great study of two very different health care systems. BYU nursing students’ tightly packed schedule in Finland and Russia included:

1. Hospital and clinic tours

2. Clinical assignments in Finland:

  • Home for the Elderly
  • Home Care Nursing
  • School Nursing- Elementary/ High School
  • Public Health Nursing
  • Mental Health Facility
  • Substance Abuse Clinic
  • Rehabilitation Home for Alcohol and Drug Abuse


3. Student presentations in Finland:

  • Mikkeli University of Applied Science, Savonlinna
  • Health Care in the U. S.
  • New Initiatives in the U. S.
  • Student Experience with Simulation Learning
  • Nursing roles in the U. S.


4. Student presentations in Russia:

  • Russian Nurses Association at St. Petersburg University School of Nursing:
  • Healthcare in the U. S.
  • Professionalism in Nursing Practice
  • Motivational Interviewing Skills


Some of the highlights were staying with a physician, Leena Kosmo in her idyllic “Blue House” in Savonlinna. She made sure that we were all immersed into Finnish culture with cooking classes, forest walks, dancing, and a sauna (dip in the lake).


Student Reflections:

“I realized that it is important to not only teach people about health care, but to learn from people as well. I learned that all people have something to offer, no matter their country, status, or circumstance. From the Finnish people I learned and saw in practice that health is much more than physical health. In the U.S., there seems to be a strong focus on physical health. In Finland, people were equally as concerned about emotional, mental, and spiritual health. While in Russia, I observed and learned about the things that they struggle with in that country. I realized that after the fall of Communism, the country greatly struggled. It occurred to me how important it is to help and also learn from people, no matter what state they may be in.   After visiting each country, I saw both the good and bad in the different health care systems.    It caused me to re-analyze the U.S. healthcare system and things that can be better.   I believe that it is important for people to learn and grow.   Through this course, I learned and experienced first-hand that as all people are children of God, it is important to learn and grow together and help improve the lives and health of everyone”      -- Emily

Even though I came to Europe with a very open mind, I still maintained a certain mindset and attitude about the people of Finland and Russia…I believe my attitude continued to change after I met the professor from the Pavlov Medical School.   He greeted us in this shaded courtyard.    He had a big smile on his face and his hands were folded behind his back.   He proceeded to teach us the great history behind the school and the spot where we were standing.   I was amazed at the history that he taught us and the reverence I felt as he talked about this school that he loved.   He gave us a tour and then we proceeded to a room where presentations would be given.   The way he taught about health care and nurses was wonderful.   He was extremely knowledgeable and aware of the problems that Russia is facing in health care.    I could tell that this man loved his profession and was passionate about health care.   Everyone fell instantly in love with this adorable man.  These experiences and other experiences in Finland were eye opening.    I believe that how you view someone greatly effects how they act towards you.    I feel like I should approach everyone like an orange.    Some people are rough on the outside and sweet on the inside.    I believe that sometimes you get a really tough patient and you need to be open minded and approach people with patience.”     -- Stacy
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