James Cook University 2024

Nursing, Hue Vietnam

Undertaking a nursing placement on another continent and discovering a new culture was the experience of a lifetime.

My university, James Cook University in Australia was offering an international placement to Vietnam, through Work the World. I don’t think I had any idea what the three weeks would entail or what I was getting myself in for.The three weeks I spent in Hue, Vietnam truly provided me with a rollercoaster of abundant learning opportunities. No matter where we looked there was always something to learn from or a new way of doing things.

What I quickly realised once we had landed in Vietnam, was that everything is very different to home and comparing the two is impossible, given the stark differences.

Coming to terms with a very different healthcare system was difficult at times. I quickly learnt that the differences between the Australian and Vietnamese healthcare systems aren’t due to a lack of knowledge, far from it, it entails a complex spider web of contributing factors.

Despite these differences, once diving into the workings of the hospital I was amazed by how efficient their healthcare teams work to provide care to such a large volume of patients with little to no resources. Spending time in Vietnam has made me appreciate my own healthcare system which is abundant in resources compared to that of Vietnam.

The Vietnamese healthcare system is so different to what I am used to at home. I was amazed at the proficient provision of rural healthcare virtually everywhere in Vietnam, something in Australia we need to improve on. It was also fascinating to see the role of a patient's family in terms of their involvement in caring for them. 

All in all, it was an amazing few weeks topped off by the experiences and fun that I shared with the Work the World staff and the other students in the house.

Thank you to the staff of the hospital and the Work the World Hue team for accepting us with open arms, it was truly an honour to be let into your worlds’ for such a short period. 

The Vietnamese culture is so friendly, happy and relaxed, this shines through in the healthcare system and their lives in general. 

If you are ever considering embarking on a healthcare experience in another country, do it you won’t regret it…! 

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