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Nurses on tour: USQ students head to Vietnam

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) recently welcomed home a group of nine nursing students from a placement in northern Vietnam.

The students had placements in hospitals in Hanoi and Mai Chau as well mobile clinics in rural areas.

The group treated over 870 patients, with cases such as extreme high blood pressure and muscle and joint problems, with some patients still feeling the effects of wars long past.

“I worked with a particular patient who had back pain, and on further questioning he reported having shrapnel still in his chest from the war,” nursing student Thomas Skerlj said.

“The gravity of the situation hit me in the context that now I was able to help provide some care to a person that had been through so much.”

The student nurses found that the experience increased communication skills and problem solving, and the importance of good healthcare was reinforced.

At the end of the placement the locals showed the group their appreciation.

Nursing student Kristen Plazina said: “They treated us with local dances and we treated them to a bit of our culture which included dancing the ‘Nutbush’, singing the national anthem, and a taste of vegemite,” she said.

Nursing review caught up with Associate Professor Coralie Graham – who organised the trip – and student Joanne Stefanaras to hear more.

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