Nursing in rural India

Author: Ms Emily Malone
Publication Date: Sunday, 31 Aug 2014

A work placement in rural India has given a Charles Sturt University (CSU) nursing student a unique opportunity to reflect on how health care in a developing nation compares to practice in Australia.

CSU nursing students at the Taj Mahal in IndiaMs Amelia Baker, from Lithgow NSW, was one of 13 CSU Bachelor of Nursing students who spent three weeks in India in July as part of a program through CSU Global and the India Study Abroad Centre (ISAC).

"Often when you travel overseas, you are viewing the culture and local customs from the outside," said Ms Baker. "Nursing abroad gave me the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the Indian culture, working closely with clinicians as well as a wide range of people, in hospitals, clinics, schools, and their homes."

The students worked in private hospitals at Malavli, a town south east of Mumbai, and spent a week at the Maharashtra Institute of Medical Education and Research (MIMER) in Talegaon.

"We were in a variety of private hospitals in rural India and the facilities were often very dated, as were many of the nursing methods used," Ms Baker said.

CSU nursing student Ms Amelia Baker in IndiaCSU nursing student Ms Amelia Baker in India"The key health care issues rural India faces are things like cost, sanitation, water quality, and not having enough services for the rapidly expanding population.

"Given these shortages, staff members are very good at creating what they need from what's available.

"The Indian professionals are also very good at basic health assessment and only ordered tests that were absolutely necessary. In Australia we are often very wasteful with these services."

It's the first time students from CSU's School of Nursing Midwifery and Indigenous Health at Wagga Wagga, Albury Wodonga and Bathurst have completed clinical placement in India as part of their studies.

The program has been approved and accredited by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council and CSU.

CSU nursing students at the Malavli train station in IndiaCSU nursing lecturer Ms Krishna Lambert travelled with the students and said, "I was very proud of the students who navigated the vast differences in clinical practice with maturity and open-mindedness without compromising their own professional integrity".

"They displayed the graduate attributes which we are trying to cultivate here at Charles Sturt University and the experience is valuable in order to develop a global perspective on health and healthcare delivery," she said.

Ms Baker is enthusiastic about the benefits of the international study experience.

"It was incredibly valuable to see how the health care is delivered in a developing nation and to reflect on current practice in Australia from outside the bubble of our health system," she said. 

CSU Global is a University initiative to provide students with the opportunity to experience a broad range of international study experiences and another trip to India is planned for nursing and paramedic students in November.


Media contact: Ms Emily Malone, 02 69332207

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews. Ms Baker is has been studying at CSU in Bathurst and is currently completing clinical placement in Dubbo.