Hiroshima hosted some extremely grateful and enthusiastic Flinders University students this year for the INU Global Health and Nursing Workshop, showcasing the expertise, organisational efficiency, and unparalleled hospitality of our Japanese hosts.
The challenging and relevant theme of Disaster Nursing allowed undergraduate and postgraduate nursing students from around the world to engage with experienced academic facilitators and invited speakers. Combined with pre-readings, lectures and workshop research, we were tasked to tackle the vast issues of disaster management and health in one of three realistic scenario teams: Earthquake, Pandemic, or Explosion.
All three teams were required to dig deep and cover topics of disaster preparation, prevention, short and longer term response plans, recovery and resilience.
While our primary professional lens was nursing, a holistic and integrated approach was vital.
Important to note, we were also invited to join to commemorate the 69th anniversary of one major Japanese disaster – the bombing of Hiroshima in WWII.
My personal reflections written while participating in an INU visit to historical sites are shared below:
“Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is powerful, honest and frankly overwhelming. But I feel privileged to listen, see and witness the testimony of a community devastated by atomic warfare.
Hiroshima stands to remind the world that peace must be embraced, that resilience and human compassion can withstand tragedy, and that we have so much worth protecting with disarmament.
What happened here within living memory should make us determined to ensure it never happens again
Most victims were non-combatants, civilians, children and families.
Despite the passage of time, it is still civilians and the most vulnerable who suffer in conflict to this day.
Finally, the major highlight of this program for me was seeing the professionalism and wisdom of nurses from around the world applied to broad, holistic issues of health and community wellness.