McMaster University

McMaster University

Olive Wahoush advises audience at annual lectureship to "think globally, act locally"

Bernice King, Olive Wahoush, Catherine Tompkins, Ann Mohide and Iris Mujica
At the Bernice King Lectureship in Clinical Nursing Education on Nov. 29, pictured from left: Bernice King, former assistant clinical professor with the School of Nursing (SON); Olive Wahoush, guest lecturer and assistant dean of undergraduate nursing education; Catherine Tompkins, associate dean of Health Sciences and director of the SON; Ann Mohide, associate professor and chair of the School’s Preceptorship Program; and Iris Mujica, assistant professor and co-chair, Global Health Education Committee.

Preceptors, students and educators gathered at McMaster Innovation Park on Nov. 29 to hear special guest Olive Wahoush talk about "the world as a clinical playground for undergraduate nursing education at the School of Nursing’s annual Bernice King Lectureship in Clinical Nursing Education.

For her presentation, Wahoush drew on her experiences abroad to encourage those in attendance to think globally, but act locally.

"The skills and abilities you learn on a global stage are applicable locally and as well what you learn locally is applicable on the global platform," said Wahoush, assistant dean of undergraduate nursing education at McMaster.

She explained that global health is the health of populations in a global context and it’s about worldwide improvement of health and achieving equity for all people. It is also, she said, "a story of social determinants," such as poverty, gender inequity, food security, infectious disease, migration, and indigenous peoples.

Wahoush also discussed trends in nursing and nursing education, most notably that the shift from care in hospital to care in the community and at home is being seen all over the world, as there is a push to get patients out of hospitals sooner because of the cost of care.

As well, she spoke about current challenges in the practice environment, including advances in technology, complexity of care, the number of older people, population diversity with mixed heritage, stress, and managing civility.

Recent international highlights for Wahoush include coordinating an oncology nursing education program partnership with the University of West Indies, and taking a lead role in establishing the nursing infrastructure for a new 160-bed pediatric cancer centre in Cairo, Egypt. Her primary research focus is on health equity and vulnerable populations, particularly refugees, with an interest in discrimination and racism.

The lectureship was launched in the fall of 2005 to honour Bernice King, a former assistant clinical professor with the nursing school and an esteemed nursing colleague.

"Bernice has been honoured with having this lectureship named after her simply because she had a career-long record of excellence in clinical nursing education and she was an exemplary teacher," said Ann Mohide, chair of the Preceptorship Program and an associate professor of nursing.

The aim of the annual lecture is to stimulate the advancement of clinical nursing education through collaboration between clinical and academic partners, and the development of educational innovations.

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