Temple Times Online Edition
    SEPTEMBER 8, 2005
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Nursing professors empower Vietnam students

Photo courtesy Ann Linguiti Pron
Temple nursing professor Ann Linguiti Pron, front left, was among five Temple nursing professors to travel to VIetnam this summer. There, she helped train Vietnamese faculty and students at Hue Medical College on current nursing practices.

This summer, five Temple nursing professors traveled more than 8,000 miles to Southeast Asia to conduct a five-day teaching workshop for the nursing department at Hue Medical College in Hue, Vietnam.

With the help of faculty interpreters, nursing chair Jill Derstine, along with Kathleen Black, Pamela Bender, Ann Linguiti Pron and Dolores Zygmont trained the Vietnamese faculty and students on the latest nursing practices in obstetrics, psychiatric-mental health, pediatrics and surgery.

“Patients in Hue get the best care possible, considering that Vietnam is a developing country, but many of the clinical aspects remind me of our nursing practices from over 40 years ago,” Derstine said. “I have seen staff take gloves that I have discarded out of the waste basket to wash and use again.”

For the past 11 years, Derstine has traveled to Vietnam to work with nurses in Hanoi and Danang. And since 2002, as part of Health Volunteers Overseas, an organization that sends healthcare professionals to developing countries to educate the local personnel, Temple nursing faculty have been working in Hue.

Derstine has noticed a number of differences in nursing practice in Vietnam. Namely, the nurses have little autonomy and seldom participate in patient care or evaluation. Further, their role is limited to technical tasks, such as dressing changes and medication administration.
“They transfer some of the traditional responsibilities that nurses have in our country to the families. In order to be hospitalized in Vietnam, patients must bring a family member with them to provide bathing, feeding and general care,” Pron said.

In addition to demonstrating the latest in teaching methods to faculty, the Temple nurses’ goal was to empower the Vietnamese nurses and to try and incorporate a more team-oriented atmosphere around the medical center.

“We hope that the student nurses we worked with will be able to carve a more proactive role for nurses in Hue,” Derstine said.

- By Tory Harris