by Abby Brown (N'25)
Dean Roberta Waite of Georgetown University’s School of Nursing joined our Conversations in Health: Global to Local class on February 28, 2023, to discuss the presence of structural racism in health care and how we can address these issues and achieve health equity through education. As an expert in psychiatric-mental health nursing, she emphasized the fact that health starts at a very personal level, within one’s home environment. At Georgetown, like many other nursing schools, the acute care setting makes up a majority of the clinical experiences for students in addition to their pharmacology and pathophysiology classes. While these are important foundational areas in which nurses must be knowledgeable, there is still a lot that they must learn in order to truly care for people and get to the root of their health status. Dean Waite explained that by developing relationships with local organizations in the nearby area, nursing programs can eventually expand their clinical experiences to more community-based health clinics or home visits so that students can understand the way patients live outside of the hospital setting.