Nepal a life-changing experience for nursing students
Published on 08 December, 2011
A contingent of CQUniversity Nursing and Midwifery students has just returned from a remote community in Nepal, where they have been lending a hand at a local hospital, rural health camps and outreach clinics...
Mackay nursing students Cathy Pert and Caryl Turpin were among the group and reported they had plenty of chance to interact with local people, giving them a taste of delivering healthcare in a resource-challenged environment. LINK HERE for more great images from the Nepal trip contributed by Dr Kerry Reid-Searl
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Apart from contributing their skills they also delivered donations of medical equipment and supplies.
This was the third annual Student Midwifery and Nursing Placement to Nepal organised by the University in conjunction with Antipodeans Abroad. A previous group travelled to a rural area of Thailand.
Cathy Pert said the Nepal trip exceeded expectations in regard to exposure to nursing experiences.
"We had opportunities including visiting and interacting with nursing/medical staff at a private hospital, public hospital and leprosy clinic
(on wards and in consultations).
"We were engaging with Nepalese nursing students during lecture/discussion forums and we participated in health camps by taking blood pressure, pulse and respirations, with the opportunity to discuss cases with the presiding doctor. We were also able to visit and talk to patients in the local methadone program.
"Having these experiences allowed us to compare and contrast our health system, the nursing and medical profession (education and working conditions) as well as the type of care provided for patients or residents. Going back to basics gives a new perspective!"
Caryl Turpin said the trip to Nepal was a fantastic learning experience as she was able to practice and consolidate her assessment and nursing diagosis skills in a wide variety of situations.
"The opportunity to research many ailments that have been eradicated in the western world was an amazing experience," Caryl says.
"Although the medical equipment and supplies may have been outdated, compared to western standards, the hospital staff provided excellent medical attention to their patients.
"Although Nepalese and Australian nursing skills were very similar it was the application of holistic care for the patient that demonstrated a distinct difference in nursing styles.
"When comparing another country's healthcare system and cultural norms with our own we deduced the following: 'it's not right, it's not wrong, it's just different'."