2010 UWE Social Care June Lancaster Award: Claire nurses in India

2010 Claire Barber’s Travel Scholarship

Claire Barber in India

Claire Barber spent four weeks on a student-nursing elective programme with PSG, an Indian charity, working in the PSG hospital and on outreach programmes providing subsidised care for many below the poverty line. She visited several rural women’s enterprises, set up under government microcredit programmes. “Despite their poverty it was endearing and humbling to be welcomed so warmly by the local villagers, snacks, drinks and meals were often provided along with a willingness to communicate and share experiences despite the language barrier.” Her community placement included many school visits, where children were often fascinated and excited to meet a foreigner and practice their English.

Claire was made welcome by many complementary, acute and community practitioners and drew useful comparisons and contrasts to UK nursing care, deepening her knowledge and appreciation for the spiritual and traditional importance placed on wellbeing. She looked at the socio-economic context, complementary therapies and traditional belief systems, and focussed on nursing training, community healthcare delivery and acute care. Cultural difference forced her to develop her communication skills, enthusiasm and motivation to share her knowledge, but she found “some wonderful opportunities to take new perspectives of understanding.” As she wrote in her journal,

“India is a chaotic mix that conjures a colourful presence, which touches every sense. Anything truly is possible. There are a thousand million woven stories that resemble the mayhem of the roads. Not always in unison, rarely following the rules, if there are any, but surviving, somehow.”

Side picture: Indian children

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