Volunteer Spotlight: Paving the Way in Paediatric Nursing Through Curriculum Design
At 46 years of age, with several successful businesses beneath his belt, Claude Rochon decided to attend university for the first time. Rochon, who had worked as a plumber for 30 years, switched professions and pursued a degree in nursing.
He had participated in service-learning and medical mission trips in South America for years as a volunteer EMT, which cemented his interest in nursing and working with children. He graduated from Bay de Noc Community College in Michigan with an Associate Degree in Nursing, receiving his BSN from Grand Canyon University, and later, his Master’s in Nursing Education from Edgewood College in Wisconsin. It was while working towards his MSN that Rochon was first introduced to AHC on a hospital tour, while he was designing and writing curriculum for a service-learning class trip to Cambodia.
“I designed a program in a true service-learning context where both the host and the visitor gain in their knowledge,” says Rochon. “The program is truly advantageous to both American nursing students as it is for AHC.”
In the fall of 2012, Rochon piloted the curriculum and led his first trip with nursing students to Cambodia.
“During this time, I went to AHC and met with [former CEO] Dr. Bill,” says Rochon. “I wanted my students to do more than the hospital tour. I knew [nurse education coordinator] Vibol Doung quite well from previous visits.”
Having worked in different departments, such as nursing education, administration and development, Rochon understood all facets of nursing curricula. He developed a staged orientation for new nurses in the ICU, and was asked to help improve the nursing curriculum for new AHC graduate nurses in the ICU unit.
Today, he brings hundreds of students to AHC each year, and splits his time between Cambodia and the States. Rochon has taught nursing instructors at the University of Puthisastra, and is a regular contributor to nursing conferences around the world.
“I also have written an abstract on nursing education in a foreign country to present at [Society of Pediatric Nurses] SPN in April,” says Rochon. “If everything works out, three professors from the USA, one from Korea and 3 or 4 nurses from Cambodia… will do a panel discussion on what works in teaching our nurses and nursing students about service-learning and cultural humility. The Cambodian nurses will address what works for them and makes learning better on short term projects.”
Rochon will be raising funds to bring AHC nurses to the States for the conference.
“I love AHC and the dedication and commitment the nurses have to the children of Cambodia,” says Rochon. “They inspire me to do more! It is their dedication that makes me want to work here!”