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Nurses from Vietnam upgrade skills at Memorial

A world away

(December 2, 1999, Gazette)

By Sharon Gray
Nine Vietnamese nurses spent the past three months at Memorial’s School of Nursing, learning about classroom teaching techniques as well as gaining practical experience by working for a month in a rural community. They are now preparing to return to Vietnam and use the knowledge gained here to teach courses to nurses in Vietnam in areas such as mental health and primary health care.

The visit by the Vietnamese nurses is part of an ongoing project directed by Dr. Lan Gien, Nursing, and funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. Most of the nurses work as nursing teachers at the Central Medical Technology School 1 in Hai Duong City.

“While I’ve been here I’ve learned a lot about how nurses work in the community, and I’ve learned about new ways of teaching,” said Huong Pham, who spent four weeks in Trepassey. She was impressed with the way the community nurses visit clients at home and teach health promotion such as proper nutrition and breast examinations.

Duong Vu and Hanh Nguyen both spent a month on Bell Island, and they too were impressed with the amount of teaching done by the community nurse.

“There are many methods used, such as videotape, posters and direct guiding,” said Ms. Duong. “I also saw collaboration with the social worker, and that’s a profession we don’t have yet in Vietnam.”

Hien Tran, who spent four weeks in Ferryland, said the way nurses work in Newfoundland is very different than in Vietnam.

“The nurse here is very good at strengthening the link with the client and teaching. When I get back to Vietnam I will try to apply what I have learned here.”

Overall, the Vietnamese nurses all spoke about the excellent communication and counselling skills they observed in Newfoundland nurses. The Truong, who spent a month in Witless Bay, noted that the nurse always leaves written information after a home visit.

“I think we have achieved all the objectives of our visit here,” said Duc Dang, who will return to Vietnam to teach primary health care.