Bridging Cultures: MSUM students explore healthcare in Ireland

After two years of pandemic delays, the planning and grit of MSUM healthcare faculty and staff laid the groundwork for 18 students from the College of Science, Health and the Environment to embark on a transformative journey.

Led by associate professors Nancy Stock and Carol Roth, these students began in Dublin, where they stayed with an Irish family, immersing themselves in the local culture.

Nathaniel, a student pursuing a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) says: “My favorite part was getting to know how an Irish family lives day-to-day. We witnessed their daily life, sports, social interactions, and family activities. I loved seeing this part of Ireland.”

Also in Dublin, students engaged in various activities with unique learning experiences. They visited the Health Service Executive office, the National Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Balbriggan Primary Care Clinic to gain insights into Ireland's healthcare system.

Touring the National Rehabilitation Hospital allowed them to see a facility dedicated to brain injury rehabilitation. At the Balbriggan Primary Care Clinic, students learned about the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach involving physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

Blackrock Health Hermitage Clinic

Seon Lee, a student in the Dual Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) & Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program, said he was curious about how other healthcare systems operate.

“This experience permitted me to compare private and public healthcare systems, gave me insights into effective public health programs, and helped me apply principles of healthcare management, regarding efficiency and resource allocation,” Seon says.

Jennifer Pederson shared her perspective as a future educator; she is a student in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a nurse educator emphasis.

“My takeaway from this trip is that of becoming aware as a global citizen. Getting to know my fellow travelers opened my eyes to new viewpoints and the importance of listening,” Jennifer says.

The journey continued to Belfast, where they learned about The Troubles and visited the Titanic Museum. In Galway, they toured the city, visited local markets and an Irish pub, and saw the Cliffs of Moher.

Students explore healthcare culture Ireland

They also visited Hermitage Clinic/Blackstone Hospital, which are Sanford Health World Clinic partners. In there, they learned about genomic analysis of tumors and oncology services.

Nancy Stock and Carol Roth ensured the trip's success. Carol, who is retiring, welcomed a new granddaughter during the trip, making it even more memorable.

“Participating in any type of study abroad trip, whether short-term or for an entire semester, can be transformational. Many friendships are developed, and it’s life-changing to see how similar and different healthcare is in other parts of the world,” Nancy says.

MSUM offers a multitude of study abroad programs, ranging across the world and implemented as group or individual journeys. This year, the School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership offered two study abroad opportunities in the Dominican Republic, and Ireland. Every year the faculty gathers resources to provide worthwhile experiences for students.

“This experience has changed each of us, personally and professionally. I will be forever grateful to have had this opportunity to learn and grow,” Jennifer says.

Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)

Minnesota State University Moorhead’s CAHME-accredited Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) is the only degree offered in the Minnesota State system and is one of the only offered in the tri-state area.

Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)

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