My nursing school is hosting information about alternative breaks for student nurses thIs week. These are awesome opportunities for students with international aspirations to get their feet wet. The school organizes the trip, and the students often travel for a reduced rate and can use financial aid to pay the student portion. At my school, both undergrad and graduate students are welcome. The roles send responsibilities are different, to match the growing skills. If you are in s university program, check to see if alternative breaks are offered.Read More →

Ever wondered about the premature birth rate of your county? Or the primary cesarean rate? Did you know the US government makes some of this data easily accessible for you to access? You won’t find all the information you want, but if you visit you can find out how your community is doing at achieving the Healthy People 2020 goals. Start by selecting maternal and infant health as a topic, then drill down to the information you want.  If you limit the data to a state, you can view the results as a map that will give you the county level data. Enjoy.  Read More →

Today’s environmental health class was on toxicology, which reminded me of a great book I read this summer.  The book is called Origins, and it is all about epigenetics of fetal development. Don’t worry, it isn’t a scientific text. The author explores the latest research into what affects who your baby will be in simple English. Enjoy.Read More →

I was reminded of a great resource for the US today when one of the collaborators gave a lecture in my HIV in Public Health class – have I mentioned how much I love studying at Emory? The resource is AIDSVu, an interactive US map that lets you investigate the spread of HIV by state or county.  Why is this a great resource?  Because you might be surprised at just how much of the US is affected by HIV, or by what parts are affected. For those who want to be involved in working with the most vulnerable populations, you don’t need to work overseas.Read More →

The photo is sideways, but this is my latest read. Yes, it’s a little old- 1998 copyright. But my reproductive program management instructor recommended it, and I trust him. The book chronicles the global burden of disease from reproduction, and is an attempt to begin defining the scope of reproductive health. I already took a class that introduced me to the major indicators used in reproductive health, but I expect this will help me understand more about how to make measurements work, and to identify problems with published numbers. Of particulate interest is the inclusion of problems from the misuse of technology. I am eagerRead More →

Yesterday I talked about studying with the Mnemosyne digital flashcards.  I did like the program, but had to change for a semester due to a class flashcard making project that was being based on another program, StudyBlue. Study Blue is digital online flashcards that can be accessed from any computer, tablet or smart phone.  This was nice, because I could open my flashcards anywhere I had an internet connection. The flashcards use a simple yes/no answer system to categorize your cards, meaning you mark each card as correct or incorrect as you move through them. If you pay for the premium service, you are able to target your studyingRead More →

Just one of the many benefits of being a student–being constantly forced to seek new information.  Next week I am assigned to present on a reproductive health program for my class in reproductive program management. But which one to choose?  I decided to find one I hadn’t heard of yet, and a little creative googling brought me to Family Care International, an NGO dedicated to making pregnancy safer for women. Sadly, they don’t seem to employ American midwives.  But they do focus on capacity strengthening and advocacy to ensure care is available to women.  But the work you, as a reader of this blog, will most wantRead More →

I have been watching the unfolding of tension in central Africa since before my visit in 2008.  Reports of rebels attacking villages.  Allegations of government corruption. Growing tensions between neighboring countries. This morning I found this article in my inbox: A group has officially declared war on Burundi. You may be accustomed to thinking about war in terms of the risk to soldiers, but my heart and fears immediately turn to the women and children who are caught in the midst of struggles for power.  Some migrate to “safer” parts of the country or to neighboring countries in an attempt to keep their families aliveRead More →

I don’t have a terrible memory, but I do struggle to memorize information.  My brain works better with systems than small bits.  This is a problem for many of the types of information one needs to be familiar with to be a midwife (or other birth worker). To help me memorize, I have started to use some digital flashcards.  I have found there is truth to the theory that repetition is the key to memorizing information.  So I make my flashcards and go through them over and over and over. I have two programs I have used, they work a bit differently and each has some advantages.Read More →

Yesterday I was introduced as superwoman to a fellow student.  The speaker, an undergraduate student nurse, had remembered me from a scholarship meet and greet I attended in the spring and had been impressed with my line of study.  But superwoman?  I have to disagree. I’m not doing anything different than any of the other students.  I study, attend class and work on projects.  I’m learning.  The only difference is in the degree of scale – by working on two programs at once I am doing more studying, attending more classes and working on more projects.  My difference is not one of ability (superhuman orRead More →