A cultural approach to nursing education in the United Arab Republic
El Bindari, Aleya Mohamed Kamel
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STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM: This study is an attempt to determine the degree to which the Higher Institute of Nursing is meeting the contemporary needs of the United Arab Republic. The purposes of this investigation are: 1. To determine to what extent the existing program has accomplished the following: a) the philosophy and goals have been in accordance with the educational program; b) the functions and goals of graduates have been specified and were in accordance with these objectives and aims; c) graduates have been educationally prepared to assume the positions to which they were assigned. 2. To view nursing in the broad social context and investigate the socio-cultural, political, and economic factors which have influenced the development of the nursing profession in the United Arab Republic. 3. To propose a plan for developing a curriculum for nursing at the university level which will take into account the general characteristics of the society and will satisfy the medical and health needs that are evident in the country. PROCEDURAL METHOD: The case study method has been employed in the research and writing of this dissertation. This method was selected for reasons related to the nature of the study undertaken: 1. The writer was working in an unformulated area where there was relatively little available in terms of previous studies on nursing education in the United Arab Republic which would serve as a guide. 2. The intensive case method which involves the case study of a group has been found to be a particularly fruitful method for stimulating insights and suggesting hypotheses. 3. The attitude of the investigator is one of alert receptivity of seeking rather than testing. Instead of limiting himself to the testing of hypotheses, the investigator is guided by the features of the object being studied; his inquiries are constantly in the process of reformulation and redirection as new information is obtained. 4. The intensity of the study of the group selected for investigation and the intensity of the attempt to obtain sufficient information will characterize and explain the unique features of the case and those which it has in common with other cases. 5. It relies on the integrative powers of the investigator, on his ability to draw together many bits and pieces of information into a unified interpretation. FINDINGS: 1. The United Arab Republic is undergoing rapid social, economic and political changes which the education institutions both reflect and effect. 2. In founding the Higher Institute of Nursing with the aid of World Health Organization, the United Arab Republic adopted the program of studies from foreign curriculae patterns. International nursing leaders were among those who helped establish this institute because no Egyptian nurses were qualified at that time to participate in this program. The program did not have the necessary adjustments made to meet the needs of the culture concerned: a) the program does not deal with problems and issues which are peculiar to the culture and contribute to its health and nursing problems; b) the program does not equip students with the necessary tools and techniques which would enable them to attempt to reach a solution to some of the most urgent nursing problems. 3. The Higher Institute of Nursing prepared students who, upon termination, were not assigned to positions which were in accordance with the education they received. 4. The Institute has not made explicit what the role of the university educated nurse is to be. 5. Changes in medical and health practices have influenced the responsibilities of nurses. CONCLUSIONS: The adoption of a foreign curricula pattern without taking into consideration possible outcomes and consequences due to cultural forces may bring about not only unfavorable results but total failure. From the findings, suggestions were made to improve the situation.
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