24 October 2017
USC Nursing Science student Emma Kendall hopes to make a lasting impact on rural villagers from the Indonesian island of Java when she takes part in the University’s first accredited international nursing placement.
She is one of 20 students across USC’s Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Fraser Coast campuses selected to help deliver essential health care in Java during the three-week clinical placement next month.
“With limited resources, we will have to think both on our feet and outside the box, and find ways to safely improvise in some situations,” she said.
The group will be accompanied by USC Senior Lecturer in Nursing Dr Debbie Massey and Lecturer in Nursing Matt Mason.
Mr Mason said USC’s first overseas nursing practicum would allow students to gain credit towards their degree, while making a long-term, sustainable contribution to these rural communities.
“The students will spend time in three Javanese villages near the historical World Heritage-listed city of Yogyakarta where they will overcome cultural, language and social barriers to gain a different perspective on nursing care and health education,” he said.
During clinics and visits to house-bound villagers, the students will provide a range of services, from basic wound care and injury management to health assessments.
They will conduct health education workshops for local schools, health workers and community members on topics such as hand hygiene, oral care and nutrition.
Mr Mason said the students would undertake a needs analysis with the local health care service to guide and develop health care activities for future USC students.
Mrs Kendall said she was most looking forward to the community clinics. “I hope by helping to educate villagers about the prevention and management of health conditions, we can leave a lasting impression on those we visit.”
The group will be fully immersed into the Indonesian way of life and will stay in homestays within the villages. Local health care staff will translate and provide logistical support.
Students taking part in the clinical placement were selected through a competitive application process. They include five from USC’s Gympie campus and two from USC Fraser Coast.
A number of the students have received financial support from the New Colombo Plan, a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade initiative to support undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the Indo-Pacific region.
— Clare McKay