A group of Edge Hill University students have gained an eye-opening insight into Chinese healthcare, thanks to the Student Opportunity Fund, which provides financial support to enable students to access career-enhancing projects or activities.

Emily Asbridge

The eight Nursing and two Operating Department Practice (ODP) students travelled to Daqing in North Eastern China to take part in a summer school at Harbin Medical University. During the two-week visit, the students had the opportunity to practise their skills in the clinical skills laboratories, learn about traditional Chinese medicines and visit a local hospital, as well as sample Chinese culture, food and language.

ODP student Sue Mlambo was proud to be selected for the trip. She said:

“It was a great honour and a privilege to be accepted to take part in this journey. This was a once in a life time opportunity which I feel has equipped me to be a competent practitioner as I have imported some ideas from China.”

Comparing and contrasting British and Chinese healthcare was a key aim of the trip. Nursing student Emily Asbridge noted:

“We were shown A&E, which had palliative care side rooms that were beautifully decorated. It was comforting to know that those who are admitted and don’t have long left to live can pass away peacefully in a side room with their family. This is something I know we don’t have in a UK A&E department.”

Dionne Broda, a Learning Disability Nursing student, added:

“As well as learning a lot about the similarities and differences between Chinese and British nursing approaches, the experience has taught each of us to respect cultural importance in person centred care delivery.

“In Liverpool, we are fortunate to have a large Chinese population. I feel that my experience in China, especially understanding and learning about a lot of the customs, will enhance my ability to potentially address any barriers that may exist, and to appreciate the different interpretations of a nursing role in the community.”

Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Veronica Vernon, who organised the trip along with Cathy Griffiths and Penny Hipwell from the Faculty of Health and Social Care, said:

“The aim of the visit was to enhance the students’ employability by giving them a different cultural experience in health and social care. This will give them greater awareness and sensitivity as well as enhancing their transferable skills like communication, teamwork and confidence building.”

Veronica added: “The visit was a resounding success and our students have been excellent ambassadors for us. All students have made an incredible contribution to our partnership work in China and it has been a most valuable and rewarding experience for all of them.”

You can read Emily’s China blog here.