Reciprocity is an important component when working in a service capacity in communities. From the beginning, I expressed a desire for us to learn from the people of Pixabaj. On the last day, the local midwife brought her materials and taught us how she examined and cared for expectant mothers during the birthing process. The women of Pixabaj taught us about their local beliefs and use of folk medicine to treat common ailments. For example, intestinal parasites is a common etiology of diarrhea in Guatemala and many of the local families make a tea from a local herb to treat for parasites. The students and I were encouraged to practice our Spanish skills. During our visit to the hospital in Sololá, we had the opportunity to visit a local market and cemetery to observe the rituals of All Saint’s Day. At the hospital, we talked with Guatemalan physicians and observed the differences in health care systems between Guatemala and the United States. Every encounter during this week provided a window to a new world and the lives of the indigenous people of Guatemala. Each student will be forever influenced by the experience with the potential to make a positive impact in their future careers as registered nurses as they work with an increasingly diverse client population. In a study by Amerson (2012), students who had taken part in similar international experiences during nursing school were able to provide culturally congruent care with patients following graduation and during their subsequent practice as registered nurses.
Memory dysfunction following TBI may be acute or chronic. Acute dysfunction is described in terms of PTA and PCS, as just described, and is generally time-limited. Sim et al., for example, found that postconcussive athletes' reaction times and processing speeds returned to normal within 6 days, and memory impairment usually resolved without intervention within 10 days postconcussion . However, such recovery will depend on the severity of damage to the affected systems in a particular individual.
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On the pedagogical level, faculty and community partners should work together to create true community-university partnerships in which community issues and concerns about food justice are as important–in terms of planning, implementation, and evaluation—as student learning and development (Brown, 2001; Mitchell, 2008b; Rosenberger, 2000). We also seek our partners’ input in all aspects of garden service experiences, including developing curricula and assignments, teaching students and supervising service experiences, and establishing learning outcomes and evaluation criteria (cf. Brown, 2001; Marullo & Edwards, 2000; Mitchell, 2008b; Rice & Pollack, 2000). For example, in the Como project, master gardeners and the TAFB Community Garden Coordinator were invited to co-author student assignment sheets and methods for evaluating student performance, and also participated actively in developing curricula, educating students, and evaluating their work.
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In establishing these relationships, the principles of CBPR (Israel et al., 2003) are useful to consider. These now well-regarded principles contain language that reflects the philosophical foundations of distributive and egalitarian justice described by Rawls (1971). Most notably, the guidelines stress that participation as equal partners where the needs of the agency and the academy are mutually balanced is a necessary foundation on which to build a thriving (and socially just) partnership. For example, many agency staff are intimidated by the thought of research and may have a very different—and mistaken—perception of what will be required in the conduct of research. They may also be overburdened with the provision of direct services and may not respond enthusiastically to additional obligations. Reaching a mutual solution such as identifying a staff member who can serve as a “research navigator” may bring the two systems together and translate the language of research to direct service staff and share the concerns of front line staff. While a seemingly simple concept, successful communication between the two systems can determine—or undermine—the success of the entire partnership.