Student Experience - Canada 2011
Melnychuk, M. (2011, June 30). Australian student trains in Meadow Lake. The Meadow Lake Progress. Article ID# 3195550. Retrieved from http://www.meadowlakeprogress.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3195550
Australian student trains in Meadow Lake
By Mark Melnychuk
Australian nursing student Kiera Todd is currently doing a clinical placement at the Northwest Health Facility in Meadow Lake. Photo by Mark Melnychuk
Anyone under the care of nursing student Kiera Todd may detect an accent they aren't used to hearing in Meadow Lake. That's because Todd is from Australia, where she attends the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Flinders University. Todd, 23, is in her third year of nursing school, and is taking part in an international student exchange.
Todd arrived on June 20 at the Northwest Health Facility, where she will work until July 8. Saskatchewan might seem like a long ways from Australia, but Todd actually has deep roots in Canada. Her father is originally from Regina, and she also has family in Saskatoon and Vancouver, BC. "Because my dad's Canadian I've just always had a fondness for Canada," said Todd. During her stay, Todd will get to see how each part of Meadow Lake's hospital works. However, her main interest is in midwifery, the practice of caring for pregnant women, which she hopes to specialize in after finishing school.
"I just think it's a great thing, and it's my interest to help women give birth and look after them," said Todd, who has had the chance to see two babies born while working at the hospital. Being a nurse in a Canadian hospital has meant that Todd has had to learn how to do some things differently, such as handling documents or drawing up medicine. Fortunately, the staff has been helpful with accommodating their visitor from down under.
"The nurses have been absolutely awesome. They're very knowledgeable and professional," said Todd. Another benefit the students get from working at a Canadian hospital is a chance to experience aboriginal health care. Since Australia has its own aboriginal population, both countries' face similar issues when it comes to providing health care to their indigenous patients.
"It helps the students to realize that in our own country, and other countries, that you can be developed but still have pieces of your health care system that need attention still," said Dr. Kent Wilkinson, who works at the University of Saskatchewan's nursing college and coordinates the exchange program. When not in her scrubs, Todd plans on taking part in Canada Day celebrations and visiting the Meadow Lake Provincial Park.
Although she'll soon be heading back to Australia, Todd said she would someday like to return to Canada and work as a professional nurse.