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Taiwan 2011

Taiwan is a beautiful country with wonderful, kind and giving people. The people speak Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese, and a majority of citizens are Buddhist or Taoist. Students stayed in the city of Tainan and had clinical experiences in the 1200 bed Chi Mei Medical Center, shadowing nurses in the intensive care units and the community. Students learned and experienced how religion, culture and Western and Eastern medicine all play important roles in how nursing care is given to each patient. Additionally, they learned how their food, night markets, socialization, religious temples and history make them who they are.


Student Reflections:

"We shadowed community nurses in Taiwan, and the memory that stands out to me was in a particularly poor patient's home. The nurse, in no rush at all, sat down at the patient's bedside and began speaking softly. Feeling a little anxious about getting finished in time, I reminded her that I had to be back within 20 minutes. She nodded, said, "I know," and continued to take her time. Before she even began her nursing work, she stood up, motioned for us to go, and informed the family that she was going to drop me off and come back to finish up her work. Her shift was supposed to end in 15 minutes; however, it was 40 minutes round trip to drive to my apartment and back to the home..

This simple experience was profound to me. What impressed me most was how my nurse took as much time as she needed to ensure that the patient's family was coping well and that the patient was emotionally stable before she even began the physical care. Her focus was on quality and not quantity. Too often in the United States I see nurses going through the motions, checking off their to-do lists in a hurry. They do not always take the time to get to know patients and their families. Caring for the individual and family as a whole--emotionally, spiritually, and physically--is going to serve and heal them better."


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