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Selkirk College Partners with Suriname Tech School

Geriatric Nursing Program Collaboration Nears Completion

Rhys Andrews drops a document, about the size of a phone book, onto the table.

“This is our Geriatric Nursing Program pages. Here’s how we assess skin status… dementia…  pain,” he says, flipping through the pages. “This is the performance criteria, the skills and knowledge you have to possess to pass these modules.”

But Andrews, the Instructional Dean for Health and Human Services, isn’t describing a document for Selkirk College nursing students. This manual has been compiled for educators in a small country of Suriname on the northern coast of South America.

Instructors in Selkirk College's Nursing Program are helping to develop standards in geriatric nursing education in Suriname, South America.

Instructors from Suriname’s COVAB technical school came to the West Kootenay last year as part of the training for the upgraded gerontological program being developed by Selkirk College.

Every few months for the last two years, instructors with Selkirk College’s Nursing Program have travelled to Suriname to help instructors there develop a post-basic geriatric nursing program.

Suriname is the smallest country in South America, with just over half a million citizens. That population, like all populations, is aging and life expectancy is improving. Over-65s are the fastest growing cohort in the country. A study in 2012 noted the lack of financial and medical supports for the group, and the need for improved services for older people.

The technical college COVAB, which has trained Surinamese nurses for more than 30 years, was chosen to address the issue.

“Professionals in elderly care in Suriname are mostly low-educated, which results in the lack of structural specialized care for senior citizens,” says Romano Morsen, the manager of Post Basic and Higher Vocational Education at COVAB in Paramaribo, Suriname. “The main objective is to enhance the quality of care… and to increase the quality of life for the elderly.”

Working with CARICOM (the Caribbean Community) and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), COVAB put out proposals for help in designing a geriatric care course for the country’s working nurses. Selkirk College won the contract.

“We got the job because we’re nice people,” says Andrews, only half-joking. “We had a good solid plan that got us in the door. But what sealed the deal is that we were going to be good to work with.”

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Instructors from Suriname’s COVAB technical school came to the West Kootenay last year as part of the training for the upgraded gerontological program being developed by Selkirk College. - See more at: http://selkirk.ca/news/selkirk-college-partners-suriname-tech-school-develop-geriatric-program#sthash.ri4x9RLq.dpuf

Rhys Andrews drops a document, about the size of a phone book, onto the table.

“This is our Geriatric Nursing Program pages. Here’s how we assess skin status… dementia…  pain,” he says, flipping through the pages. “This is the performance criteria, the skills and knowledge you have to possess to pass these modules.”

But Andrews, the Instructional Dean for Health and Human Services, isn’t describing a document for Selkirk College nursing students. This manual has been compiled for educators in a small country of Suriname on the northern coast of South America.

- See more at: http://selkirk.ca/news/selkirk-college-partners-suriname-tech-school-develop-geriatric-program#sthash.ri4x9RLq.dpuf

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