Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 11:30
School of Nursing and Midwifery student Lucy Finlay helped deliver a baby in a Cambodian health clinic.
School of Nursing and Midwifery student Lucy Finlay helped deliver a baby in a Cambodian health clinic.

Fifteen University of Queensland nursing and midwifery students have put their skills into practice in Cambodian health clinics during a four-week placement in the country’s north-west.

School of Nursing and Midwifery head Professor Catherine Turner said the International Community Health Placement program, open to second- and third-year nursing and midwifery students, gave participants credit toward their Bachelor degrees.

“Our undergraduate programs are distinctive in that we provide students with academic learning balanced with an equal component of hands-on clinical experience,” Professor Turner said.

She said the program gave students insight into international health practices and provided opportunities to assist in clinical practice environments.

School of Nursing and Midwifery student Lucy Finlay, said the Cambodia trip had been a wonderful experience.

“It really opened my eyes to see how lucky we are in Australia,” Lucy said.

“One definite highlight was assisting in the delivery of two babies.

“Both births went really well. The Cambodian midwives do so much with so little.

“It’s different to Australian hospitals where more resources are available for mothers and babies during the birth process.”

The group spent time at a Military Handicap Development Centre, a community centre and a community clinic near Angkor Wat temple.

This is the fourth year UQ has run the program.

Many of the students had not travelled outside Australia before.

Staff and students raised more than $8000 before the trip to donate to communities they visited.

The money helped buy medicines, a birthing bed, a steriliser and a computer, along with more than 50 kits of blankets, sleeping mats, clothes, mosquito nets, tooth brushes and soap for needy families, and contributed toward construction of a toilet block at a secondary school.

Media: Lya McTaggart, 07 3365 5084, lya.mctaggart@uq.edu.au.