Students to experience nursing in Himalayas

Deakin news
16 December 2016

Two Warrnambool nursing students are about to scale new professional heights in a study tour taking them to the world’s tallest mountain range.

Second year students Sarah McCall and Audrey Lenehan are joining 12 other nursing students on a 17-night study tour which includes 12 days in Bhutan in the Himalayas.

Both mature aged students aged in their 40s, Ms Lenehan and Ms McCall say their return to study

has been a life-changing experience and the study tour will make it even better.

The School of Nursing and Midwifery tour will help students to enhance their understanding of cross-cultural health and nursing care.

Ms McCall was accepted into the nursing course at Deakin Warrnambool more than 20 years ago but finally started to achieve her dream when she enrolled last year.

“I am loving the Bachelor of Nursing degree, and although going to uni as a mature aged student was daunting at first, I haven’t looked back. My kids are very supportive and proud of me.”

She said the chance to learn from visiting hospitals in the Himalayas was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I’m sure it’s going to be very different from our hospitals; it will put a different perspective on things,” she said.

“It’s a Buddhist country and it looks beautiful from the photos: why wouldn’t you want to go?”

Ms McCall, who lives in Koroit and has been working as a lab technician with a Warrnambool pathology company, said the tour would be a great learning experience to supplement her course.

“We will buddy with nurses in the hospital and also go out into the community. It’s going to be a real eye-opener.”

After working in aged care and disability fields, Ms Lenehan decided to go back to university to fulfil her ambition of becoming a nurse.

“I love the course. I started nursing out of school but you have a very different perspective as a mature aged student,” she said.

Ms Lenehan said she was excited to be going to the Himalayas. My parents were born in India but I’ve never been to that part of the world,” she said.

“Just to see their culture, how they incorporate their mindfulness into healing and the differences in our systems will be fascinating.”

“It will give a different aspect to nursing and health.”

The study tour leaves on October 22 will include classroom on-site sessions with the host institution, the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences, Thimphu, Bhutan, and visits to the National Referral Hospital, Traditional Medicine Hospital and Health Care Units.

The Deakin students will also “buddy” with local nursing students on their health assessments in the community and with nurses on their observational shifts.

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