Canadian nursing students enjoy local hospital placement

The Flinders University nurses exchange program that brought five student nurses to Port Pirie this month demonstrates how truly international nursing is.

The group of Canadian students: Renée Nault, Erica Grant, Danielle Higgins, Michelle Hulak and Ashley Bernath, were happy to chat with The Recorder before their weekend departure.

The students spent a week in each of the Accident and Emergency and Community Health departments of the Port Pirie Regional Hospital in roles home nursing; dressing-changes; diabetes education; and the Better Care in the Community program.

It was not all work and no play for the students that reminisced about their time spent in Australia, and South Australia with particular fondness for Port Pirie where they enjoyed Night Owl bowling, a Nyrstar tour, the local producer’s markets, and visits to the Tarpari Wellbeing Centre and Environmental Health Centre.

Thankful for the opportunity, Miss Hulak expressed the student’s gratitude for the welcome they received in Port Pirie.

“Everyone has been so friendly, we are really grateful to have been placed in Port Pirie,” Miss Hulak said.

Flinders University coordinator for students abroad Pauline Hill, whom the students referred to as their unofficial Den Mother, spoke highly of the students and the program that enabled them time in Port Pirie.

“The students are from smaller rural communities in Canada, with indigenous populations and health challenges not too unlike Port Pirie, so it was great for them to gain a better understanding of the RN role in a similar rural community,” she said.

With just six weeks of acute placement left before graduation in April, the students were looking forward to becoming Registered Nurses but having arrived during summer temperatures pushing 47C, they weren’t so keen for cold-snap winter temperatures anticipated closer to -47C at home.

The students left Port Pirie for the opening of the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Adelaide before heading back to Canada at the weekend.

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