23 March 2012
Nursing students from Nagasaki are spending two weeks with their peers in Melbourne to gain first hand experience of the Australian health system.
In a collaboration between the Peninsula campus’ School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Kwassui Women’s University the visiting students are completing the ‘International Nursing and Palliative Care Studies in Australia program’, an intensive two-week course designed to introduce the Japanese students to the cultural diversity experienced by nurses in Australia.
Lecturer in Nursing and Midwifery at Peninsula campus, Dr Kaori Shimoinaba said the Japanese Government recently required a unit focusing on 'International Nursing' be included in the teaching curriculum at Kwassui University.
"It is not easy to teach ‘international nursing' in a mono-cultural country such as Japan so the university approached Monash to help develop and deliver a program for their students as part of their curriculum," Dr Shimoinaba said.
“With Australia having such a diverse multicultural society and core components of the University's nursing curriculum focused on cultural aspects of health care, sending Japanese nursing students here gives them a valuable introduction in nursing care at an international level.
“When developing the program, we also looked at ways outside the educational component of the visit that would extend cultural learning of the students”
During their stay on the Peninsula, the students will participate in lectures, English language programs, discussions with current students as well as clinical visits to the Frankston Hospital, Peninsula Palliative Care Unit, Peninsula Health Rehabilitation Centre and Baxter Village.
“The clinical visits allow the students to observe how different health care systems work and how Australian nurses communicate with patients from different backgrounds,” Dr Shimoinaba said.
“It also allows the students to develop an understanding of cultural sensitivities when working with nurses of differing backgrounds.”
Staying with the local families has also been an important part of the course, allowing the girls to further enhance their cultural experiences as well as practice their English conversation skills.
The visit has also provided a cultural experience for nursing and paramedic students from the Peninsula campus, with many of them involved in the workshops as well as some of the social aspects of the visit.
Planning is already underway for the 2013 program with an additional course for midwifery students being developed.