• A New Environment for Nursing

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Nov 08, 2017 | Faculty led study programs

A blog post by Erin Tully:
(Cover Image: Erin pictured with friends on the trip exploring the historical buildings of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila)

Going on the Philippines study trip with Deakin was something I was excited about since my first year. The thought of seeing not only how another culture works, but how their hospitals work fascinated me and I went on the trip full of excitement, wonder and curiosity.  

Actually being in the country was a whole other experience than I think I was prepared for. It was a sensory overload. The smells of street food cooking in large vats of oil, the sounds of the constant beeping from the never ending stream of traffic and the sprawl of amazing colour from every corner of the city, it was an environment completely different to any I had experiences before!

One of the most memorable moments was visiting the public hospital in Negros Oriental. At first, walking into the humidity and chaos of people, it gave me the impression of a temporary relief centre, a scene from a movie with people in every tiny space imaginable. The hospital was set up to accommodate 200 people and although the exact number of patients in that hospital was currently was unknown, it was above 400, double their capacity.

While newborn babies and their young mothers lined the hallway, cats wondered in-between the tangle of patients. People lucky enough to have beds were close to their neighbour, no curtain to be seen and therefore no privacy. Not only were patients crammed into these spaces, but also their family. Despite this scene of chaos, there was something peaceful about seeing the nurses calmly float from patient to patient, the patients themselves with no outward sense of anger or frustration despite the stifling heat.

I admired the resourcefulness that was displayed around the hospital. With little resources and space, the nurses do their best to care and accommodate people in need. As a student nurse, there are also aspects of the Australian health care system that I learnt to value which I previously took for granted. I came back from the Philippines feeling very lucky and privileged with a new understanding of the world around me. I feel culturally enriched and inspired to continue my studies to become the best nurse I can. I have seen the possibilities of overseas nursing and the difference we can make to people.

(Erin and group preparing herbal medicines with natural ingredients for local people on Apo Island.)

Going on the study tour was such an incredible opportunity to meet different people, explore a different part of the world and develop comprehensive nursing skills. The people throughout the tour were incredibly warm and welcoming and they will stay with me forever. All I want to do now is book a plane ticket back!

For more information about Study Aboard Opportunities with Deakin please visit our website.

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