Japan trip on the horizon

Flinders University postgraduate nursing student James Bonello.
Flinders University postgraduate nursing student James Bonello.

It has been a busy and exciting few weeks.
Preparations are now all complete to head to Hiroshima, Japan. I feel so fortunate and grateful to be joining nursing students and colleagues from around the world to participate in the International Network of Universities (INU) Workshop on Global Health and Nursing, August 3-10 2014.
The theme for this year, excitingly…Disaster Nursing.

I couldn’t have known that such an incredible opportunity for overseas study would arise for me during my postgraduate studies in Emergency Nursing at Flinders University. But it’s a good surprise, I’m so happy that it’s happening, although slightly daunted about the work ahead, and determined to represent Australia and Flinders University to the best of my ability.

As a registered nurse for several years now, I have focused professionally and personally on public health, emergency nursing, and disaster health, so it feels fortuitous that such a relevant and important theme has been chosen for this international forum.

The multi-national aspect of this conference will make the theme, cross-cultural learning and workshop outputs so much more complex and meaningful.
I have some personal experience working towards good health in challenging environments; a clinical deployment as part of the Queensland Flood Relief in 2011, to health worker and educator in Solomon Islands as part of an international assistance mission in 2012 and 2014, and previously working in rural northern Thailand on and off between 2002-2005. I know from firsthand experience what can be achieved when nurses from around the world join forces for learning, empowerment, and positive change.

Another Flinders nursing student, Isabelle, will be joining me. We have done the prep work, prepared a presentation for the forum about disaster response in Australia.
We have spent hours working through interesting pre-readings, researching and preparing for the study and activities ahead.
Now, my bookings are confirmed, my bags are packed, my days off work have been locked in, and I am all set to contribute and learn as much as I can in Hiroshima.

Isabelle and I will keep you posted! Blogs to come.

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