INU Hiroshima – Global Health and Disaster Nursing

Well where to begin, we arrived back in Australia nearly a week ago and I am still coming down from the high this experience offered. The trip from beginning to end was incredible. We arrived two days earlier to acclimatise and do some sightseeing as we made our way down to Hiroshima. Visiting Tokyo and Kyoto were both amazing experiences and getting lost every now and then allowed us to see sights and experiences things we very likely wouldn’t have come across. Japanese people were extremely helpful assisting us, even when they didn’t speak English. When we arrived in Hiroshima we were met by a student representative, who showed us to our student accommodation which was the beginning of our amazing INU journey. Taking part in the International Network of Universities Workshop on Global Health and Disaster Nursing was an experience much larger than I had anticipated. Throughout the workshop we attended and took part in various functions, listened to speakers working in this field, along with a number of dignitaries has made life long impact. As part of the INU conference we had chances to have joint lectures with some of the other INU groups that were attending, this proved valuable and demonstrated the importance of developing networks and working as a team during a disaster. The conference coincided with the 70th anniversary of the Peace Ceremony for the Atomic Bomb in Hiroshima, attending this was an emotive day for all. The ceremony afforded many people to plea for worldwide peace, hearing so many individuals aiming for the same goal gave me an awe-inspiring sense of appreciation and peace for the importance of learning from past mistakes. In the evening the ceremony was trailed by a lantern festival where thousands of Japanese and many other international people gathered to float their hand crafted lanterns with messages of hope and peace down the river. Honoring those who lost their lives and suffered due to the atomic bomb. Working closely alongside nursing students from Japan, Sweden, USA, Spain, South Africa and Indonesia was an experience I feel privileged to have been given. Learning about one another’s countries and their response systems to disaster was very educational as no one country has the right answer. Many strong friendships were made very quickly. Communicating for some individuals at times was difficult due to the course being run in English, but we worked together to overcome these constraints. This experience has permitted me to further and expand my communication skills and given me a drive to learn another language. The course also afforded many opportunities to develop a new and greater understanding of other cultures which is a highly important aspect to continue to develop in nursing. Participating in the INU workshop has been a most incredible experience and something I will never forget. This has further kindled my passion for disaster nursing within Australia and on a global scale, this experience has also given me the opportunity to develop firm networks across the globe. I wish I could share every experience with you but you will just have to settle for my photos. A very big thank you to Flinders University for funding my trip and Hiroshima University hosting this workshop. Thanks greatly also to Annette Stenberg, Pauline Hill & Daniel Mather, who without your assistance and guidance this would not have been possible. Lastly to my travel companions Karen Hammad & Amanda Tate we began as strangers and finished as friends I am extremely grateful for you companionship over the course of this experience. IMG_2847[1] 11838597_10153498669650797_241563665664450585_o IMG_2637 11888024_437971506408294_1181969051676090232_n

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