Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Vancouver Community College Nursing (BScN) Students Journey Into The Unknown


International internships are common in university settings but a first for VCC.

For the first time ever, three students studying to become registered nurses at Vancouver Community College are travelling to a third world country to work and learn in a largely underfunded, overpopulated health care system. Raymond Li, Sean Reid, and Jessica Schneider will spend six weeks in Bangladesh.

“I will probably learn how fortunate we are in Vancouver, more than I already do,” says Reid, husband and father of four. Reid, 40, is a licensed practical nurse at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

The internship is a partnership between VCC and the College of Nursing in the International University of Business, Agriculture and Technology in Dhaka.

Li, 29, believes working in a Bangladesh hospital will make him a better nurse. “I hope to inspire hope, change, and empowerment,” he says, admitting the uncertainty of life in Bangladesh makes him a bit nervous. Li works on a casual basis at St. Paul’s Hospital.

His classmate, Jessica Schneider, isn’t nervous at all. She says the unknown is exciting. “I think going outside of your comfort zone builds self-confidence and life skills.” The 28-year-old currently works with spinal cord injury patients at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre.

These types of internships are common in university settings but a first for VCC. “There are benefits to expanding your horizons to see how health care systems in other countries operate,” said VCC nursing department head, Kathy Fukuyama. “These settings offer diverse experiences in a wide range of socio-economic conditions.”

Schools mentioned: Vancouver Community College

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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