Thailand study tour for paramedic students

Monday 16 Jun 2014

Thailand is the destination for a three week study tour by eleven Charles Sturt University (CSU) paramedic students who embark for Bangkok on Saturday 21 June.

The students will be accompanied by Ms Tania Johnston, lecturer in paramedics at the CSU School of Biomedical Sciences in Port Macquarie, and Dr Nua Wongtongkam, a CSU lecturer originally from Bangkok who has a background as a nurse and experience working with the United Nations and the World Health Organisation.

"This study tour is facilitated by CSU Global to give paramedic students the opportunity to observe paramedic practice and the provision of emergency services within the healthcare and ambulance environments in metropolitan and rural communities of Thailand - Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, and Chiang Mai," Ms Johnston said.

"Students will spend time in hospitals and with ambulance services to gain an understanding of the similarities and differences in comparison to their Australian experience. The hospital wards they will rotate through include the accident and emergency, labour and delivery, and surgical wards."

The participating paramedic students include four second-year students from CSU in Port Macquarie, six second- and third year students from CSU in Bathurst, and one postgraduate student from Victoria.

The students have been meeting once a week to study Thai culture, language, and customs. One of the accompanying lecturers, Dr Wongtongkam, is Thai and has been teaching the group some basic Thai phrases and about the food, religion, culture, history, government, and healthcare systems.

"This is such a unique opportunity for our students to not only experience how emergency care is delivered in another country but to have a Thai speaking escort guide them along the way," Ms Johnston said. "Nua is a native of Bangkok and is making the most of her personal contacts to enhance the students' experiences. Her insight has been especially valuable given the recent political tensions in Thailand. The paramedic students are so excited to be able to immerse themselves in Thai culture and be enriched by this fantastic opportunity."

The study tour also includes daily language and culture training and sightseeing in Bangkok City, the Grand Palace and Buddhist temples, and a Chao Phraya River tour. They will also visit Wang Nam Khiao district (also known as the Switzerland of Isan), and Khao Yai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In Bangkok the students will tour and have an orientation to Bangkok Hospital, the Ministry of Public Health (hospital and ambulance service), and do two-day rotations in Ratchawithi Hospital, Taksin Hospital, and a private ambulance service. In Nakhon Ratchasima Province they will do a three-day rotation in Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital and ambulance service.

The students will also travel 700 kilometres by bus to Chiang Mai and do a two-day rotation in Nakornping Chiang Mai Hospital and ambulance service before flying back to Bangkok and then home to Australia.The paramedic study tour is from Saturday 21 June to Thursday 10 July. Another group of CSU paramedic students will make a similar study tour to China at this time.



Media contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews. This study tour is facilitated by CSU Global. The program is partially funded by the Australian Government's Study Overseas Short-term Mobility Program through the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. CSU recognises the support of the Australian Government in providing targeted funds which have subsidised the cost of this program to students.