Abby Lee Health Care in New Zealand 2010 DEU January 20, 2010 On a beautiful sunny day we visited the Christchurch Hospital in Canterbury District of the South Island of New Zealand. This hospital is centered in the middle one of the largest city of the south island. This was a busy hospital with many doctors, nurse, and staff whizzing around. At the hospital we visited with the DEU which stands for the Dedicated Educational unit. This is a special unit directed for supporting the clinical learning experience for student nurses. Our tour began in the Medical unit with Michel McIlhone who is a nurse manager in the women and childrens health unit. Reflecting on our day, there was not a specific event or aspect that surprised me but the idea of a whole unit that intrigued me. Every person in this unit is dedicated to help facilitate the learning of these students. In each of the DEU there are six or seven students and they are in this a unit between five to ten weeks depending on the specialty. Every person on the staff acknowledges that the students are there to learn and they want to further their learning and skills. The students are not assigned to a specific nurse but a specific patient. Using this model, students are able to follow the patient and really learn what it is like to be on a unit and care for a patient. First, second and third year students are on each unit to facilitate team collaboration and peer teaching. This way the first years can go to the third year to ask questions and the third years can facilitate the teaching. I think that having a dedicated unit for students is really great. This way the students are able to learn in a supportive environment. As a student I would feel comfortable learning in a unit like this. It allows for students to ask questions and practice skills without feeling like theyre in the way. This program really values independence of the students. Talking with the staff, it seems like they try to let the students do as much as they can on their own and only step in when they are needed. I think this would be a really good program to try adapt to programs in the United States. We have such a need for health professionals but we need well trained ones. This program would give the new graduates the skills that they need to be out in the workforce. Giving the students the skills while still in school will allow them to get right into their job rather them having a long training time. As a student I can use this experience to better my education. I can talk with my clinical supervisors about modeling this type of teaching to enhance my learning experience. When I become a professional nurse I hope that I can work with students incorporate the DEU model to provide a supportive clinical learning environment. Visiting with the DEU fulfilled one of our course outcomes by describing the educational preparation for health care professionals in New Zealand. Observing the units and hearing what it would be like to be a student nurse in New Zealand gave us a really good understanding of what nursing school would be like here. It was a really interesting visit because this is something we do not have at home. Every time I leave a visit I cannot believe how much more I have learned and how often my dream job changes. I cannot wait till the next visit to see what I will want to do next.