A group of nursing students are preparing to travel to Japan following a successful exchange programme.
The Keio exchange has been running for four years and gives the opportunity for the undergraduates to meet fellow students from Japan, Korea, China and America.
The five students will experience theory and nursing practice in both a hospital and community settings as well as learning first-hand how the provision in Japan differs from the UK.
Mary Carter, Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing at the University, said “I have been involved in the Japanese exchange programme for a few years it is a great opportunity to share learning, share ways of working, to find out about healthcare, funding, ways of nursing, the student experience. It is really exciting, and we can learn a lot from each other. It is a great opportunity for students and for staff.”
Second year Child Health Nursing student, Sam Bolger, said, “When I went in 2015 with the Scouts we stayed with a Japanese family and I enjoyed seeing how they lived, it was completely different so I expect their healthcare system to be different too. We will be experiencing care in the community as well as in the hospital setting so we’ll get to see both.”
Second year mental health nursing student, Bethany Jacklin, said “It’s an experience I wouldn’t be able to have otherwise especially seeing how mental health is incorporated into nursing. Mental health isn’t often focused on when you discuss nursing internationally so seeing how the emphasis is placed on that within hospital settings and community settings will be really interesting. It’ll inform cultural competence, our academic writing and how we practice; we’ll be working with patients from all walks of life, from all over the world so I am looking forward to the experience.”
Fellow mental health nursing student, Lorna Macleod who is in her first year, added “I’ve always had a love of Japanese culture and it’s always been on my bucket list to go. Japan is one of the places where nurses are trained in adult and mental health, so I am looking forward to seeing how that is implemented and how it works. Having the opportunity of taking part in an exchange programme like this wasn’t something I was aware of before I joined the University, but I think it would definitely influence my decision of where to study. It shows that the University is thinking of diverse ways to incorporate different ways of learning and cultural competence as well.”
First year adult nursing student, Sarah Addy, added “For me it will be an experience of a lifetime. I know I am going to be out of my comfort zone, with people I don’t know, and it is going to push me to be more confident.”
They will be joined by third year mental health nursing student Harriet Hopkins.
Senior Lecturer and course leader for Mental Health Nursing, Heather Rugg, will be accompanying the students and delivering a presentation alongside Mary. Heather said “In the past we have been fortunate enough to be involved in the delivery of the programme when the Keio students have come to Suffolk, so we’ve been able to share information and see how we work as there are differences, culturally. It is really exciting that this year, we are able to go over there and take a range of students from across the whole of the nursing programme. We are taking a lot of experience with us and we’ll be able to exchange some of that knowledge with the students and the academic staff in Japan.”
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