Indonesia’s diverse geographical condition, ranging from mountains to coastal areas, causes a wide variety of health conditions, and the lifestyles and diets of people from different ethnic backgrounds also have a unique impact on public wellbeing. A massive population of more than 270 million people across over 17,000 islands in the archipelago also poses a challenge for a government which aims to provide an accessible and comprehensive health service system for all. The nursing placement in Yogyakarta is one of the most-notable GROUND Asia healthcare programs, providing a hands-on introduction to the many challenges facing Indonesia’s healthcare sector.
GROUND Asia’s nursing placement program in Indonesia is situated in the heart of Java Island in Yogyakarta and runs between two to three weeks. One of recent groups who took part in the placement consisted of 18 students and two lecturers from Australia. During the placement, students have the opportunity to practice clinical skills that they have learned while in university. Along the way, they received some really good feedback too. This is due to the group spending most of their time in the community-clinic and having the opportunity to perform routine checkups on as many patients as possible. In one day, they could see more than 100 patients!
At the care center, they also had a chance to connect and work with the local healthcare staff here. They were really inspiring and encouraged the students to do their best. Some things are different, for example, the procedures of handling patients in certain situations; however, local healthcare staff were all willing to exchange ideas with the students, as well as learn the way Australians handled things back home.
In preparation for the trip, the students decided they wanted to raise money to pay for an ECG machine that the Yogyakarta communities really needed. Through bake sales and many generous donations, they raised enough money to buy one in Indonesia and were pleased to donate it to GROUND Asia‘s partner organizations on their first day there. What really made the placement memorable was that: they not only learned hands-on how to operate ECG machines, but also how to interpret the results from the readings. After reviewing the machine’s operation with the local doctors and nurses, they trusted them enough to use the ECG machines on patients, with minimal supervision. This practical-skills-training is something they would rarely be able to do in Australia, even if they were qualified nurses let alone as students.
Another aspect of the placement that students genuinely enjoyed was home visits. It was eye-opening to see how their patients were living in rural Yogyakarta. The visits also provided them with a better understanding about how creative healthcare professionals needed to be when they recommend treatments while at the placement. These home visits also showed them the warmth and hospitality of Javanese households. The local-patients really loved spoiling students with many cups of sweet Javanese tea, freshly harvested corn, and other tasty local snacks!
In the end, students said their time during placement will be missed. They have developed many memorable connections and learned a great deal from everyone. Many within the community were extremely sad to see them go.
If you’d like more information on our healthcare placements or any of our other school or university educational travel programs, get in touch with us.
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GROUND Asia partners with communities across Asia to assist in their sustainable development. The communities we work with are our clients. To meet their expectations, we empower them through mutually beneficial programs to ensure their development needs come first.