Hong Kong nursing students get Top End experience


Hong Kong Polytechnic University students, Sam Yung, Vincent Chui, Haley Lai and Evonne Chin

Hong Kong Polytechnic University students, Sam Yung, Vincent Chui, Haley Lai and Evonne Chin

Four Hong Kong students have gained unique insight to nursing in the Top End during a four-week exchange between Charles Darwin University's (CDU) College of Nursing and Midwifery and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU).

The College Associate Dean International, Dr Benjamin Tan said the exchange program with HKPU had achieved its aims of maximising contact between NT and Hong Kong students, and enhance students' global outlook and cultural sensitivity.

The students, Evonne Chin, Haley Lai, Sam Yung and Vincent Chui, visited Darwin Private Hospital, Royal Darwin Hospital, Palmerston Regional Hospital, Juninga Centre, St John's Ambulance Service, CareFlight and CDU’s Simulation Labs.

Evonne Chin said the attitude of health care professionals in the Top End was “gentle and patient”.

“The nurses in Hong Kong are excellent and we have the heart to do this, but we don’t have the time and resources. Our nurses are highly efficient, skilled and focused on what they need to do for the patient,” Ms Chin said.

“This is a good reminder to be the best for the patient, no matter how busy we get.”

After visiting the Juninga Centre and spending two days with St John’s Ambulance Service, the students said they believed that health care workers and researchers needed to combine health messages with Indigenous cultures and language so that Western medicine could be understood among the Indigenous communities. They said the Juninga Centre, which has been adapted to Indigenous culture, was a great example of culturally appropriate care.

“In Hong Kong people are in a shared room and confined to their beds. Here, people have their own single room and their own bathroom, and they can walk around and chat with each other,” Ms Chin said.

After riding with the Ambulance Service, the students said they were impressed by the autonomy and problem-solving skills of the paramedics, the time and care given to developing rapport with each patient, and the Bachelor level education that paramedics received. Likewise, nurses in Darwin had more autonomy.

“Even in the private hospital and sim lab we have seen that nurses have to think what they are doing and plan their interaction with patients,” Ms Chin said.

“The students here are more diverse, from different states, family status, backgrounds and past careers. In Hong Kong, it takes effort and courage to change your career; it’s very difficult to make the decision.”

The College student exchange agreement with HKPU facilitates long-term collaboration in teaching and learning within the nursing discipline. The College will welcome the second group of Hong Kong exchange students in 2020.

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