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Journals from NURS 298 PA Health Care in New Zealand

2010-01-25 CPIT- Christchurch, New Zealand

As a student at Linfield College I feel very blessed to be able to partake in the study abroad program; the opportunity to study the healthcare system in New Zealand has provided me with many experiences that I believe will enrich my nursing practice. While visiting Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, in Christchurch New Zealand, we were able to speak with their nurse educators and learn about their nursing school. As we spoke to their professors of nursing and toured their facility I was able to see many similarities, such as the fact that they are using the same mannequin in their skills lab that we are currently using in ours. Although there were multiple similarities it was one of the differences that stood out to me the most; this difference pertained to the clinical hours that the students must complete and the flexibility that they have with this. While speaking with the nursing faculty at the nursing school they informed us that the students must complete a minimum of 1,100 clinical hours and no more than a maximum of 1,600 hours. One reason that this stood out to me is because I have not heard of having a range of clinical hours to achieve safety. This concept seemed to make many of us students ask question why they implement the range of clinical hours. The faculty informed us that by giving the students a range of hours it allowed them to have more control over their practice and build confidence in their ability to practice safely. They explained that the amount of practice and hours needed vary among students and courses studied. So for those students who may need or want a little more clinical hours to work on the practice can get those and those students who do not really need the extra hours and are comfortable with where they are skill-wise do not have to complete the additional hours. This concept makes a lot of sense to me because as a student I feel that I am stronger in some areas than others and it would be nice to have the opportunity to have additional time to feel more comfortable with those areas I feel weak in. Most of the students in our group who have completed clinical hours agreed that this range would be nice. Another advantage to this is that it gives the students some flexibility with clinical hours; I know that at Linfield it can be hard to make up clinical hours if you have to miss a day for any reason. The clinical educators mentioned that this is not the case for their school because students have some flex time. I personally really enjoyed being able to see another nursing school and learn about how they function. I found it to be enjoyable to see how similar some of the lab rooms and concepts being taught were, along with being able to find the differences among our nursing school and theirs. One of the outcomes for this course is to examine the educational preparation of healthcare providers in New Zealand and this visit really allowed us to succeed in meeting this goal. I think that this experience has allowed me to realize that I will potentially be working with healthcare professionals from various backgrounds and trainings, by keeping this in mind I may be able to learn from those people who may have been trained differently. By learning from my co-workers and other team members I will be able to strengthen my own practice and that is something that will allow me to complete my job to my best ability. Overall, I think that Linfield students might see less stress surrounding clinical hours if there was a system similar to this one in place.

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