The School of Nursing hosted nursing students and instructors from Chang Gung University of Science and Technology and Hung Kuang University from Taoyuan, Taiwan and Taichung, Taiwan respectively. The group from Hung Kuang University spent ten days immersed in EMU’s nursing program, while the Chang Gung University of Science and Technology group were at EMU for one month. For many, it was their first trip abroad. During their time here, they participated in a mix of academic activities, and traveled around Michigan to explore and experience the U.S. culture.
The students visited local hospitals (St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Chelsea, University of Michigan Health System, Angela Hospice) to learn more about the U.S. health care system, and the role nurses play in patient care. They observed the passion that American nurses have for their profession and their nurse colleagues. They also saw the respect that nurses receive from other health professionals and the interprofessional teamwork in action. CHHS faculty from Nursing, Orthotics and Prosthetics, Dietetics and Clinical Lab Sciences also presented information on the opioid crisis, advanced practice nursing, nursing research, dietetics in the U.S., interprofessional education, infection control, antibiotic resistance, understanding the U.S. healthcare system, introduction to orthotics and prosthetics, transcultural nursing, and nursing education in the U.S.
The students and their instructors visited many Michigan landmarks (e.g., Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Frankenmuth, Greenfield Village), and participated in many traditional summer activities (e.g., Ann Arbor ArtFair, pool parties, Detroit Tigers baseball game, outlet shopping, water parks, etc.). Instructor Chia-Ling Wu commented on how pleased she was to observe the evolution of her students’ attitudes as they participated in a nice mix of academic and cultural experiences. In between a healthy diet of ice cream and melons (a first taste for many), the students gained a strong appreciation for the U.S. health care system, and the important role that nurses play. Yi-Ting Chang was particularly encouraged by the emphasis placed on the interprofessional teamwork demonstrated by various health care professions. Others noted the comradery among nurses on the units.
The students took home with them many stories, videos, photographs, and experiences of their EMU adventure. What they left behind is a deep appreciation from their CHHS family for their enthusiasm, kindness, and eagerness to learn. “This is the second year EMU School of Nursing has hosted visiting students from Taiwan. Likewise, it is the second year we have sent students to Taiwan to learn community health nursing. Cultural differences exist in the U.S., but this experience very much highlights these differences and promotes sensitivity to others,” says Michael Williams, Director, EMU School of Nursing.