CQUniversity nursing students are off to Nepal
NURSING student Phoebe Bickell always knew she wanted to help people.
The 20-year-old is in her final semester at Central Queensland University and has been given the opportunity to travel to Nepal with her peers next month to gain experience in overseas healthcare facilities thanks to a $467,000 federal grant awarded to CQU.
Phoebe, who one day hopes to work for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, is particularly interested in how she can apply what she learns in Nepalese healthcare facilities to remote areas of Australia.
"I hope to gain from this an international perspective on healthcare and nursing and what we can do as clinicians in Australia to impact healthcare in other countries and also in regional areas here in Australia," Phoebe said.
"I think having an understanding of their living conditions is definitely helpful, but I'm really excited about what we're going to see in the hospitals, the different cases we'll see.
"I think there'll be a lot more acute and chronic (cases) because of their access to healthcare, they don't have the access that we do here in Australia.
"That'll be great to see because we also have that in more remote areas of Australia so looking at how they address that and what they do there will be really helpful.
"I hope it will shape me to be a greater clinician and have a greater impact as a nurse in Australia and also overseas."
Phoebe and her fellow nursing students, Brooke Barnes, Jamie Wincen, and Daniel Sos have been given this opportunity through the New Colombo Plan.
The New Colombo Plan aims to increase knowledge of other countries by supporting Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the Indo-Pacific region.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry announced the federal government grant yesterday which has given CQU students, mainly in allied health professions, the chance to gain experience in the Indo-Pacific region.
CQU's interim vice-chancellor and president Hilary Winchester said the nursing students have been fundraising to help fund the trip and allow them to take over much-needed equipment.
"The nurses in particular raise a lot of money, they have barbecues and sausage sizzles and they raise a lot of money themselves so they not only get the best out of it, but they also take material and equipment over," Ms Winchester said.
"They'll be helping out in community clinics and hospitals and observing and doing some actual work themselves."
Ms Landry believes learning skills overseas will help the students become more flexible in their profession.
"This is about giving our students the opportunity to go overseas to third world countries and learn more skills in these places," Ms Landry said.
"It just teaches them that if you can go to some of these third world countries, things aren't as great as they are in Australia.
"It is very helpful for them to learn how to improvise with the lack of equipment and resources in these areas."
Under the grant 141 CQU students will travel to either Nepal or Vietnam in 2017.