About Karah

For Lumos Blog-1I have been so blessed throughout my life because of the people that have been astounding examples to me and for the education that I have received. May of 2016 I got the incredible opportunity to go abroad and study Public Health in London, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. This trip was not only my first time out of the country but also my first time to ever fly on a plane. I absolutely fell in love with all of the cultures and the various people I encountered. London was a huge melting pot. With every step I took in the bustling streets I would hear a different language being spoken. The diversity there was mesmerizing. It was so amazing to be able to actually see what you have always read about in history books. I got to speak with Irish Travelers and see the separation that is still going on between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. This trip really validated my love for people and other cultures. We can learn so much from studying other countries. I was able to see how much the UK, Ireland, and the US differed when it came to public health. Moreover, I got the opportunity to study the social determinates of health and see the importance of infant mortality rate. Access to healthcare is so essential. However, education, prevention, and wealth are critical aspects when looking at public health. Health care is only 10% of a person’s overall health. Economic and social conditions are what greatly influence an individuals and group differences in health status. Some of these factors include: economic stability, education, environment, and an individual’s behavior/habits. A deep passion of mine is vulnerable populations and advocating for them. With being a nursing major I got the incredible opportunity to work with refugee families in my community health clinical through Catholic Charities. This opportunity only strengthened my love for working with these types of populations.

After studying abroad I was so fascinated with public health that I began working at the TN Department of Health. Being able to see healthcare from this aspect has been extremely beneficial. My passion for global health only grew when I took a class offered at Belmont University, Global Leadership Studies, during the fall semester after I had studied abroad. This class showed me the importance of globalization and how it is the new world we live in. Global Leadership Studies is a new major at Belmont and it really helps change your outlook on the world we live in for the better. It is so important to be culturally competent and open minded to the way other countries do things. That same fall, I presented an exploratory/pilot research proposal on the importance of incorporating global population health competencies into the BSN curriculum at the Tennessee Nurses Association and the Tennessee Association for Student Nurses (TNA/TASN) annual conference: October 28-October 30, 2016. Educating students on globalization is so essential because it is where the future of the world is going.

Studying healthcare abroad is something that I really enjoy. I have been looking into doing an internship with Work the World which is an organization in the United Kingdom that offers various health internships in developing countries since last year. A dream of mine has always been to go to Africa. I cannot express how excited I am for this amazing opportunity. I will be working in a hospital in Dar es Salam for nine weeks and then I will be working in a local clinic in a village for one week. The primary language spoken in Dar es Salam is Swahili. I will be able to work in four focused areas that I got to choose in the hospital: Pediatrics (three weeks), Obstetrics & Gynecology (two weeks), Psychiatry & Mental Health (two weeks), and Emergency (two weeks). I cannot wait to see what is in store while I work as a nurse abroad and how it will open my eyes to pursue my other ambitions once I return back to the states. I am very ecstatic to be able to be in engulfed in African culture and see what healthcare is like in a developing country.

Through my work in Tanzania over the summer and through a career in nursing after graduation, I aspire to bring opportunities for educational and economic advancement as it pertains to health to people around the world. It is my hope that in being open minded and eager to learn how hospitals and clinics work in a developing country while abroad, I will be able to see how the US can help work with developing countries and give them opportunities to advance their countries themselves. When I arrive back, I hope to get into a residency program as a registered nurse. I plan to go to graduate school after 1-2 years of working as an RN-BSN. I would love to either pursue getting my masters as a nurse practitioner or doing something along the lines of global or public health or global development and educating others. Moreover, a big ambition of mine is to serve in the Peace Corp doing something with health.

“When it comes to global health there is no ‘them’ only ‘us’.”–Global Health Council

“Travel is like knowledge. The more you see, the more you know you haven’t seen.” -Mark Hertsgaard