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Albany nursing students to help in the Philippines

Media release

Albany nursing students are the first group of students to visit the Philippines under Curtin University’s Go Global scheme, where students are making a global impact.

Developed by Curtin, the Go Global program is helping to change lives in Cambodia, China, India, the Philippines and the Ukraine. The program provides final year students with international fieldwork learning opportunities that contribute to humanitarian health services overseas.

Carol Jones is one of the nurses about to graduate and leave for the Philippines to undertake her final fieldwork placement before settling down to a job in the health arena.

Ms Jones is in the final throes of her Curtin nursing degree, which she is undertaking at the Great Southern Institute of Technology’s Albany campus (GSIT).

She was awarded a Curtin scholarship to join the Go Global project and is looking forward to experiencing nursing practice in a different environment from her own.

She will spend four weeks with Silliman University in Dumaguete City in the Philippines, as part of its program of monthly health screening clinics in disadvantaged communities.

Ms Jones said she was keen to experience nursing in an underprivileged area, where the people coped with a range of living and health issues and received little or no healthcare.

“I’ll be working in primary healthcare and it will definitely broaden my assessment skills,” she said.

She was hoping the project would also take her out of the cities and into the remote rural areas, where she could gain a deeper understanding of the communities’ health issues and learn about their culture while expanding her professional expertise.

She will graduate at the end of this year and take a well-earned break before joining the nursing staff of Albany Hospital in April.

Ms Jones recommended the degree course delivered through GSIT for the small class sizes and supportive learning environment.

Go Global @ Curtin University

Originated in 2001 as an occupational therapy study abroad program, the Go Global Health Sciences’ program has grown to include many other disciplines. The scope of interprofessional teams that now take part make Curtin’s international placement program quite unique.

Go Global Director Dr BK Tan said that the program enabled students from occupational therapy, dietectics, health promotion, nursing, speech pathology, physiotherapy and pharmacy to practise their skills in a range of complex environments.

“Curtin students have been collaborating with partner organisations in these countries to help build sustainable health services for communities,” said Dr Tan.

“In 2011, 80 students worked in both direct patient care and in developing infrastructure, including introducing new training systems and innovative ideas to improve physical activity and sensory stimulation for adults and children.

“Work was undertaken at state orphanages, rehabilitation and community hospitals, mental health facilities and a private rehabilitation school for street children.

“These environments are often challenging and a huge eye-opener for students, meaning they come away with the most invaluable experiences; it’s a real journey of professional and personal discovery.”

“Our service learning philosophy is not just about putting training into practice, it’s about providing a service to the community, about giving back. Our aim is also not to bring western ways to other countries but rather to provide communities with what they need.

“In teaching, we focus on ‘client-centred’ care, meaning the objective of the care needs to be what the individual patient needs. Working in other cultures is an excellent way to demonstrate this for students, as what we think a patient needs and what might be the focus in Australian culture may not be what is right for that patient or their living environment.”

Go Global is the recipient of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council award and has become the University’s flagship international, interprofessional fieldwork placement program.

Go Global Alumni has registered 153 members since the program started in 2001 and is now one of Curtin’s strongest Alumni groups. Many program participants have used their subsequent holidays to return and lend a hand at the placement organisations that first gave them a real taste of a career helping people.

Curtin is the University where the brightest minds ‘Make Tomorrow Better’:  http://maketomorrowbetter.com.au/

Contact:

Dr BK Tan, Go Global Director, Curtin University
Tel | +61 8 9266 3115   Mob | +61 4011 03068   Email | bk.tan@curtin.edu.au
Web: healthsciences.curtin.edu.au/go_global.cfm Contact:

Hillary Lambert, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 9085    Email: Hillary.lambert@curtin.edu.au    Twitter: @CurtinPR
Web: http://curtin.edu.au