Transformed Nurses - Medical Domain Engagement

Last year, 30 students graduated from the first Master of Nursing Program in Nam Dinh Nursing University. This program was the first graduate program for nursing Vietnam has ever had. After the success of the first class, the second class of Graduate Nursing students are now enrolling in courses taught by both Vietnamese and international instructors from the US, Thailand.

The Master of Program attracts students from diverse medical professions and disciplines. The 56 students of the second class consist of instructors in educational institution and nurses currently working in hospitals.

In order to give you a better understanding of our work with Nam Dinh in the medical domain, we conducted a series of interviews from students, instructors, and facilitator. For this part, we interviewed Thuy and Duong, current students of the 2nd class.

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Thuy

College Instructor

Where are you working currently?

I am an instructor at Ninh Binh Medical College; I teach Basic Nursing.

Tell us about yourself. Why did you choose nursing?

I’ve always like taking care of patients. I also want to support them when they face challenges in their daily activities. But more importantly, I want to provide better health care for my own family.

What have you learned from the course?

I learned a lot. One of the things I’ve learned is how important of evidence based researches. Our current subject is *Evidence based practices*, which means everything you do as a nurse needs to be reasoned from actual, specific evidences to be effective. 

Other than nursing and medical knowledge, what else did you learn from this course?

There was a lot to learn from the different cultures that the instructors brought with them from the US and Thailand. For example, the professionalism was something to learn. They were always on time; we clearly understood when it was class time and when it was break time. We can also learn from their ability to inspire others. Both instructors were very willing to answer our questions and concerns. Even when we ran out of class time, they stayed to explain the answers until we understood the material.

What were the challenges you face during the course?

The language barrier was the biggest obstacle. Sometimes it was difficult to understand the subject at hand, but we had Vietnamese instructors to help translate.

What are some challenges you face at work?

The biggest challenge is the lack of an environment that allows me to fully apply the knowledge I’ve learned in Nam Dinh. I have to find out how to apply what I’ve learned into my work environment. The implementation process is complex; it depends on various parties and systems in order to work.

After this course, what personal changes would you want to make?

I can change my professionalism and passion at work. I want to be a more proactive learner and researcher.

How else can we support you through these courses?

We could use more information sources and research databases from around the globe. I would like to learn how to conduct research based on evidence.

In three words, summarize your experience.

Friendly, Useful, Exciting.

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Duong

Nurse

Where are you working currently?

I am a nurse at Ninh Binh Maternity and Pediatric Hospital.

What do you think about this course?

I feel very luck and happy, because we have the chance to learn from excellent instructors from Baylor. I gained not only knowledge, but also a wider vision.

What challenges did you face during this course?

The challenge was the academic material itself. The subjects we covered may be covered in undergraduate colleges and universities overseas, but in Vietnam, these subjects have never been taught in universities, even graduate programs. We were very unfamiliar with evidence based researches and practices.

How would you apply your knowledge to your work?

I will build a program for the nurses at my hospital to start using evidence based practices. This change will be hard to implement because our staff nurses are not familiar with evidence based practices, we have old habits, and management may not support the idea.

What other challenges are you facing at work?

Applying evidence based researches and practices can be difficult in Vietnam because we lack information and reference sources. One, there is not enough databases for us to draw from, to obtain information. Two, finding the information needed is difficult. Three, if we are able to get our hands on needed information, it may not be accepted in our research/work. The sources of information we have access to is not officially accepted and cannot be cited. If we cited English journals and papers as sources, our papers/project would then become irrelevant to local practices. The language barrier inhibits our managers and readers from understanding the cited information.

In your profession, what are some disadvantages of working in and with two different cultures?

The cultural difference hinders us from fully applying what we’ve learned here to our work environment. For example, we talked about a method to measure blood lost, that method would not work well here due to the overwhelming number of patients we have.

What are some advantages of these cultural differences?

Because we can’t exactly transfer every practice, we have to improvise and make adjustments. This course gives us the tools and methods, we have to find our own application. For example, for measuring blood lost, since we don’t have enough time here, we can incorporate that measurement to weight diapers when we give the patients medicines.

In three words, summarize your experience.

Excellent, Comfortable, Useful.