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Posts Tagged ‘Laos’

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Providing healthcare in Laos prepares Griffith nursing student

Providing healthcare in a developing country wasn’t something Rachael Ovington expected to be doing while studying a Bachelor of Nursing at Griffith University.

But it was an experience she will never forget and will take with her when she seeks employment as a full-time nurse next year.

Providing healthcare in Laos prepares Griffith nursing student

Bachelor of Nursing student Rachael Ovington spent time in Laos helping provide healthcare. (Photo credit: Griffith University)

Rachael is one of almost 50 third-year Griffith Nursing students to travel to Laos this year as part of work integrated learning placement within the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Griffith University was the first university health team to administer healthcare in in this rural district of Laos Laos, commencing work with this community Development Project in 2010.

“Being able to provide healthcare to people that have nothing and no access to health services because they live rurally really made me appreciate the healthcare we have in Australia and made me want to do so much more for them,” Rachael said.

“The community were really excited and happy to see us and so grateful and appreciative that we were there to help.

“This experience helped build my nursing skills in general as you have to do everything manually so your assessment skills need to be strong.  It also made me more aware of cultural sensitivities, which I will take with me well into my career.”

Rachael said her group, who were supervised by two Griffith staff members and two volunteer nurses, found many people to be suffering from colds and flus and physical injuries caused from manual labour.

She said they also provided a lot of health education to the children such as oral hygiene and hand washing, as well as teaching correct methods for lifting large objects safely.

“We took a bag of donated clothes to every village we went to, which we fundraised before we left,” she said.

“It was quite cold when we were there and to see some kids walking around with no shoes and in clothes that were too small was heartbreaking.

“We couldn’t do everything but we did the best we could.”

Griffith School of Nursing and Midwifery International Programs Director Hazel Rands said students who travelled to Laos were in a unique position and would be looked upon favourably by future employers.

“This experience is unique because it is recognised as clinical hours by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority and it enables student to be challenged by the extremes of poverty, poor communication and working with limited resources,” she said.

“Griffith seeks to prepare our students to become global citizens and this three-week experience allows them to see another healthcare system, live in a challenging environment, learn about themselves and acknowledge the unique set of skills that they have to offer as health professions upon graduation.”

Rachael is due to graduate at the end of 2016.

Nursing at Griffith University

The Griffith Nursing is committed to the development of nursing practice, theory and research in positive and visionary ways. The school is also committed to the development of graduates imbued with a solution-focused philosophy who will make a positive difference in nursing, midwifery and health care. Through developing research, consultancy and continuing education opportunities, Griffith seeks to serve the nursing and midwifery professions, the health care system and the broader community.

Program: Bachelor of Nursing
Location: Logan, Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intakes: February and July
Duration: 3 years

Apply to Griffith University Nursing School!

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Learn more about Griffith Nursing School. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Nursing Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com for more information!

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Ancient burial ground discovered at the Plain of Jars

Researchers are a step closer to unravelling one of the great prehistoric puzzles of South East Asia, after discovering an ancient burial ground, including human remains, at the Plain of Jars in central Laos.

The discoveries were made during excavations conducted in February 2016 and led by a team of Australian and Lao researchers including Dr Louise Shewan from the Monash University Warwick Alliance and Centre for Archaeology and Ancient History, Dr Dougald O’Reilly from the Australian National University and Dr Thonglith Luangkhoth of the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

 Monash University

Researchers at the Laos site (Photo: Monash University)

The fieldwork is part of a five-year project funded by the Australian Research Council aimed at uncovering the mysteries surrounding the 90-plus jar sites, including who made the jars, what they were used for, and how the sites came into existence.

The sites, located in the central Lao province of Xieng Khouang, comprise large carved stone jars of varying sizes—some as big as two metres in diameter and three metres high. Initially brought to the attention of science by French researcher Madeleine Colani in the 1930s, the sites have remained largely unstudied due to the huge quantity of unexploded bombs in the area—the result of heavy bombing during the ‘Secret War’ in Laos in the 1970s.

The recent excavations—the first major excavations in nearly two decades—uncovered an ancient burial ground in an area known as ‘Site 1,’ and revealed various burial methods including the internment of whole bodies, the burying of bundled bones and bundled bones placed inside ceramic vessels and then buried.

Dr Shewan, who is analysing teeth found at the burial ground, says the project has the potential to ascertain who these people were and where they lived.

“My research involves the measurement of strontium isotopes in human dental enamel to shed light on the home environment of the individual,” Dr Shewan says. “Teeth mineralise at different ages, so by analsying different teeth we are able to ascertain where an individual lived during their childhood.”

The results of the project will be showcased in the CAVE2 facility with support from the Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform.

“To visualise all our research findings, including excavation data, remote sensing data and drone imagery in the CAVE2 environment is going to greatly assist our analysis and interpretation and provides a unique opportunity to conduct ‘virtual fieldwork’ in areas that are inaccessible by foot. From the drone imagery we may also be able to identify potential occupation areas. At present there are no known occupation sites. No one knows where these people lived,” Dr Shewan said.

The research will assist the Lao government in their bid to have the jar sites nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status.

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Find out more about studying Archaeology and Ancient History at Monash University!