Inspired to Provide Preventive Care

December 15, 2015
Inspired to Provide Preventive Care

Hanzhang Xu is a third-year PhD student in the School of Nursing who is pursuing a doctoral certificate in global health.

Her passion for global health originated during high school when she represented her school in the National Model United Nations (UN) Conference as the delegate for Malawi. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in nursing, Xu began working at a large tertiary hospital in China. Although she enjoyed the direct patient care, she felt limited by what she was able to do.

“As a frontline nurse, I could only care for one patient at a time, and all of the services I was providing were curative,” she said. “For example, in my job I could provide care to those hospitalized diabetic patients, yet I could not provide primary or secondary prevention to other undiagnosed diabetics or people at high risk of developing into this chronic disease.”

She was inspired by the need for prevention efforts for a variety of non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, which have become major global health problems.

Xu pursued fieldwork this past summer in Shanghai, China, with a Bass Connections project on care needs for dementia patients. The project aimed to understand how well dementia patients were being cared for in addition to the barriers to care among the healthcare providers.

Read the full article, Doctoral Certificate Is Global Health Gateway for Nursing PhD Students, on the Duke Global Health Institute website and learn how to get involved with Bass Connections.