Putting health into place – perspectives from The Innovative Learning Institute

By Mari Wolff Skaalvik, assistant professor at
UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Distributed nursing education is essential for a good health care service in rural and remote areas. Together with cultural competence the health care needs of first nation people can be met.

This is the conclusion after meetings in Saskatoon, Canada, with educators, students and health care professionals from the arctic region at the conference the Innovative Learning Institute.

The program was varied and included greetings from government, lectures from health care providers, discussions and visits to other teaching facilities.

The importance of putting health into place for northern Indigenous people, was highlighted in an address by newly elected prime minister of Canada; Justin P.J. Trudeau.

True to some of the tools used in distributed education, the Minister responsible for Rural and Remote Health greeted the participants “on line” when he appreciated the role nurses play on the health care team.

Students from arctic universities

Students from the arctic universities participated in the conference.
Photo by Mari Wollf Skaalvik

UiT method presented

Lecturers included Dr. Edward Hauck, who talked about “The High Risk Foot: Recognizing, Treating and Referring”, Dr. Ken Coates on “Innovations to Advance Education in Support of Northern Development”.

UiT lecturer Catrine Buck-Jensen presented the use of online discussion boards as part of supervision for clinical placements. Catrine’s work impressed the audience, as it allows for high quality feedback over great distances, without wasting precious time.

The decentralised nursing education were highlighted in a presentation by Bente Nordby, and I talked about the impact of nursing competence for Sami health and wellbeing.

Host 2017

The students who participated got to travel around to see how education in rural and remote areas in Canada works. Among other activities they participated in a discussion on health and client services in Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

In between posts on the program there was time for everybody to get to know each other and I am sure that the participating students will constitute a network in their future as registered nurses in Canada, Greenland, Finland, Iceland and Norway.

Next summer UiT The Arctic University of Norway is hosting The Innovative Learning Institute.

We are looking forward to it!

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