Chinese expedition an eye-opening experience for TAFE students


Upon returning to the country last week, TAFE Western’s 10 Diploma of Enrolled Nursing students have described working in two busy Chinese hospitals as a challenging but extremely rewarding experience.

As part of TAFE Western’s Outbound Mobility Program, students from Orange, Dubbo, Cowra and other small western NSW towns took up five-day residencies at Shanghai Redleaf Women’s Hospital and American-Sino Obstetrician, Gynecology and Pediatrics Services in China.

“The trip was a fantastic experience for the students. They immersed themselves in Chinese culture as well as observing important medical and nursing practices,” TAFE Western Nursing and Health Head Teacher Debbie Greenhalgh, who accompanied the students on the trip, said.

“I believe that all participating students have had an experience which has resulted in huge personal growth and increased self-confidence.

“In addition, they have developed a deeper understanding of the influence culture can have on nursing care and have a much wider world view and a greater appreciation for nursing practices in their own country.”

These were sentiments shared by participant Kane Horan, who said it was an ‘eye-opening’ experience, but one he thoroughly enjoyed.

“It was a great opportunity for us to be taken well out of our comfort zone in a place where they speak a foreign language to us,” he said.

“Experiencing such cultural diversity and learning cultural sensitivity was a real highlight for me and something I know we’ll all use when caring for our patients in Australia.”

Kane, who is employed by Orange Health Service at both Blayney and Molong Hospitals, said the Chinese experience had further strengthened his desire to pursue a career in midwifery.

“I loved the chance to increase my exposure to pediatric and maternity care because I’ve had minimal exposure in those fields,” he said.

“Before I left I wanted to become a midwife, but that desire is now a lot stronger.”

This year’s participants included: Beth Thompson (Millthorpe); Courtney Walker (Dubbo); Hannah Piper (Mount David); Jessica Bourke (Rylstone); Kane Horan (Orange); Katrina Tonkin (Dubbo); Laura McKenna (Dubbo); Maddison McCahon (Dubbo); Sarah Drury (Windradyne) and Sharon White (Cowra).

Mrs Greenhalgh said other than working at the hospitals, students enjoyed participating in Chinese cooking and calligraphy classes and loved trying a wide variety of traditional Chinese foods.

“Amazing overseas learning opportunities are available by studying with TAFE western," Mrs Greenhalgh said.

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