PSON Deepens Ties with Universidad Santo Tomás in Chile
University of St. Thomas-Houston marked the 27th anniversary of bilateral university relations with the Universidad Santo Tomás in Santiago, Chile, (UST Chile) with another impactful faculty exchange. This fall’s outgoing exchange scholar was Lauren Delumpa, assistant professor at the Carol and Odis Peavy School of Nursing (PSON). UST Chile’s School of Health hosted Delumpa from October 2-11, 2023, to provide guest lectures and meet with academic leaders, scholars and students.
The Santiago campus is home to approximately 20,000 students. An additional 40,000 are educated at 23 satellite campuses throughout Chile.
Phenomenal Experience for Both USTs
Delumpa summarized her visit as “phenomenal” and said, “I learned so much about Chile’s healthcare system and how they teach nursing. Their landscape is vast, and the climate is varied, which makes it a challenge to provide health care to a heterogeneous population. This makes it very similar to the United States in some ways.”
Professor Claudia Ibarra, national director of the School of Health at UST Chile, is thankful for the Houston – Santiago exchanges.
Ibarra said, “For our school, it is important that faculty and students can share with teachers from other schools around the world as part of our formation.”
Dr. Kristina Leyden, division dean of Undergraduate Nursing for UST-Houston and a previous outgoing Chile exchange scholar, is grateful for the continued partnership.
“Our relationship is imperative for our school, faculty and students to understand global health,” she affirmed. “We hope to organize student exchanges and mission trips soon.”
Great Value in Faculty Exchanges
UST-Houston Associate Vice President for International Relations & Engagement Dr. Hans Stockton sees great value in these faculty exchanges, saying, “The annual faculty exchanges with UST Chile are fruitful for the further development of each scholar’s pedagogical and research portfolios and also deepen and enrich our own institutional relationships.”
Delivering Lectures Which Connected with the Chileans
Delumpa’s well-received lectures to the Santiago and Arica campuses were “Building Resilience through Creative Reflection: Art and Music in Nursing Education” and “5-minute Nursing Bedside Shift Report.”
“My presentation on music and art was especially timely for students because mental health is a big issue post-pandemic,” Delumpa shared. “Several students came to me crying after; a few faculty members were also teary-eyed.”
The former oncology nurse also spoke of her experience in cancer wards and the importance of recognizing the grief nurses carry when patients die. She recounted former students’ creative means of processing difficult clinical experiences.
Generating great discussions with the faculty was the “5-Minute Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation” (SBAR) presentation, which centered on efficient and focused medical communication to decrease errors during the nursing change of shift report.
“Shift report is a skill and needs to be practiced,” Delumpa told them, “just like our nursing students need to practice inserting IVs and giving injections. Precise communication is critical.”
In addition, Delumpa described the scale and capacity of PSON’s simulation lab, which is an aspirational goal for the UST Chile nursing program.
Engaging and Expanding UST’s Global Reach
UST Chile has requested that Delumpa record her translated presentations so they can be shared with all 23 campuses. Dissemination of the presentations will create further opportunities to engage and expand UST’s global reach throughout Chile.
Meanwhile, each faculty exchange by the University reinforces ongoing projects or produces new projects for instructional or curricular collaborations and virtual guest lectures. Dr. Stockton shared that UST will launch a second faculty exchange with the Catholic University of Vendée (ICES) this spring as another new extension of UST’s Greater Things 2030 strategic vision.