Ifelt like we had all the resources. If we had questions we had our instructor. If they needed more than we could give, we could refer them somewhere else. We were aware of the resources. Students developed the knowledge and the skills to work within a broken system and overcome barriers that were encountered each day. They became very resourceful and were proud of what they could do. We had a patient who was discharged on a Sunday. We visited on Tuesday. He did not have any of this medica- tions. He was prescribed cardiac medications and anti- biotics. We took the prescriptions to the pharmacy and they delivered them the same day. He had nobody. It was eye opening. It felt really good, he was very appreciative. Another student expressed her competence in fulfill- ing the role of advocate for the underserved. I think we are helping to empower people to take better care of themselves and to take control and break down some of those barriers they have encountered from others. All students expressed confidence that no matter what they encountered, there was something they could do to help. They knew they had something to offer. If they need to talk, you listen. If they need a referral, you try to get them to where they need to be. The notion of active presence was prominent through- out the qualitative data. Analysis of the transcripts revealed that the presence of the students led to a reciprocal relation- ship between members of the community and the students which emerged as the third theme, connection. Connection Cultural encounter is the construct that promotes par- ticipant engagement in cross-cultural experiences. The University has a continuing presence in the community and the participating students recognized the value this has in forming trusting relationships. We go every week. We go twice a week, 52 weeks a year. We have a continued presence. The students'faces may change, but it is still our school. The students got to know the community they served and individuals with unique challenges.We saw a lot of different types of people, very diverse. Everyone had a different story to tell. I know most of the people by name and they know my name. The time immersed in the community allowed the stu- dents to develop an understanding of the importance of trust in this therapeutic relationship. Students mentioned that just being present was a key factor in gaining trust. They know us and they look forward to coming to see us. They may not need their blood pressure or blood sugar checked because they have gotten it under control, but they come to talk to us. They trust us and they continue to ask us questions. The connection between the students and the commu- nity members developed even when barriers existed. The connection was made in other ways. Some of the people we worked with, we did not even speak the same language, but they were willing to share all of their personal health care issues with us. We worked through a translator. We made eye contact, we smiled, we touched.
- Fall '20
- Nursing, Qualitative Research, Journal of Cultural Diversity