Nursing students head to rural Vietnam

Students to treat patients in Vietnam thanks to Federal Government’s New Colombo Plan Mobility Program

A group of USQ students are preparing for the experience of a lifetime – an international nursing placement in rural Vietnam.

The trip is in collaboration with Griffith University and will see a team of seven USQ Nursing and Midwifery students spend a few weeks (January 10-29) working with local health workers to provide primary healthcare within rural hospitals.

The team will also support mobile clinics with their work in remote villages, providing health assessments, undertaking promotional activities and implementing illness prevention strategies in underserved communities.

Senior Lecturer (Nursing) Dr Coralie Graham said it would be a life-changing experience for the participants.

“While some of these students have travelled, it will be very different to go into communities that have little or no medical services available,” Dr Graham said.

“Through this placement, the nursing students will gain an insight into how these people live, their surrounding environment, and how these factors impact health outcomes.

“Compared to what our students are used to – such as a classroom or local nursing placement - it’ll be a whole new world.”

Dr Graham said it would be an invaluable lesson for the students, as it would help prepare them to treat wide-ranging community groups once they begin their career.

“Health professionals need to be able to care for people of all backgrounds, including those who have previously had limited access to healthcare,” she said.

“They can’t assume that their patients have experienced preventative healthcare like regular health checks, mammograms or cervical screening.”

The Vietnam nursing placement is funded through the Federal Government’s New Colombo Plan Mobility Program which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

Two people in nursing lab
Student Jennifer Flannery and Dr Coralie Graham