A BGSU student stands in front of a hospital entrance in Athens, Greece.
BGSU junior Audrey Narhi spent three weeks shadowing medical professionals in Athens, Greece, through the University's Hoskins Global Scholars Program.

BGSU Honors College student broadens worldview through medical shadowing experience in Greece

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Junior Audrey Narhi traveled abroad through the BGSU Hoskins Global Scholars Program

By Laren Kowalczyk ‘07

Before Audrey Narhi began her first year at the Bowling Green State University School of Nursing, she wanted to experience her future profession internationally.

She hoped to expand her cultural awareness and understand the differences between nursing in the United States and elsewhere to inform her own approach to nursing.

Through the BGSU Hoskins Global Scholars Program, Narhi spent three weeks this past summer shadowing nurses and doctors at a private hospital in Athens, Greece.

“My experience in Greece expanded my worldview and allowed me to conceptualize my profession in a completely new environment,” Narhi said. “I was exposed to a new culture and a different healthcare system, which impacted how I think about nursing here in the U.S. and my day-to-day life as a BGSU nursing student.

“I observed how they interacted with their patients, the care they provided and how they supported one another.”

The Hoskins Global Scholars Program provides funding for comprehensive international enrichment experiences for Honors College students, prioritizing international engagement and understanding of today’s diverse and connected world.

Among the information Narhi wanted to glean from the international experience was whether European nurses experienced burnout similar to nurses in America. Combining the Hoskins Global Scholars Program trip with her Honors College project, Nahri proposed surveying nurses in both countries on job satisfaction.

She focused specifically on those working in privately-owned hospitals.

“I had been learning a lot about burnout in the nursing profession, and I started wondering if it was a common experience for nurses worldwide,” she said. “As an undergraduate, I can’t necessarily survey the world, but through the Hoskins program, I could survey nurses in Greece.”

A BGSU student stands in front of the Parthenon in Greece.
Audrey Narhi explored popular attractions while in Greece, including the Parthenon.

While in Greece, Narhi had informal conversations with nurses and doctors about their day-to-day lives in healthcare. Her official questionnaires were sent after she returned to the U.S. and completed the required training for conducting a study with human participants. She's awaiting responses.

From her observations and research, Narhi hypothesizes that Greek nurses face many of the same issues as U.S. nurses, including being short-staffed and having high nurse-to-patient ratios.

“My experience overseas provided me with a unique perspective of nursing that I would not have had without support from the Hoskins program and the BGSU Honors College,” she said.

Narhi said the experience helped solidify the importance of prioritizing self-care as a nursing student and forming healthy habits she can practice in her future career.

Narhi was one of two BGSU nursing students to receive the Hoskins scholarship. Recent alumnus Alex Johnson ‘23 traveled to Cusco, Peru, in the summer of 2022 as a Hoskins scholar to study healthcare communication across differing linguistic, economic and cultural boundaries.

Johnson said his international experience taught him the importance of adapting and connecting to his patients regardless of varying cultural and language barriers — lessons he relies on as a nurse in the heart and lung transplant step-down unit at the Cleveland Clinic.

“Healthcare professionals must learn to adapt to an ever-changing and shifting environment,” Johnson said. “Cusco provided a vastly different experience that required me to learn to adapt, which is something that I still practice in my work today to provide the best care possible. I'm so grateful for the amazing opportunities provided through the Hoskins scholarship."

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349

Updated: 12/13/2023 02:06PM