Rising to the challenge
The remote location of many of PNG’s villages and the terrain of winding rivers and dense forest presents challenging working conditions that students could experience and learn from during their YWAM outreach.
The commitment of these budding nurses and midwives to the areas of rural, remote and tropical health provided a huge benefit for the communities they visited.
“These are very remote villages and there is no other health care,” Marie says. “On one of our two week outreaches we completed over 4000 childhood immunisations. For most of the people, most of the time, women have no access to any maternity care, there is no access to medical care in most of the villages.
“For our students, they get to work much more autonomously in a primary healthcare setting, under supervision obviously. They get to experience not only true autonomous experience, but they get to practice their skills in a really high level way.”
The experience proves invaluable for the students in that it not only tests their skills, but also illustrates just how much they know from studying at JCU.
“They learned to recognise that they do have high-level knowledge and skills, and they can apply those skills in any setting,” Marie says. “In a high-resource setting, say one of our major hospitals, there is lots of equipment and backup and sometimes students just don’t realise just how much they do know and what they can do.
“When you’ve got a low resource setting where all you’re relying on is your knowledge and skills, you realise how much you do know and how much you can do.”
JCU’s participation in the YWAM Medical Ships program has been running since 2018.