Intensive diseases for Aussie sonography students in Vietnam

Published:13 December 2017

1. Sonography student Laura Schimke has an audience while scanning. 2. The CQUni contingent with local Vietnamese medical staff. 3. The CQUni staff and students in Vietnam. 4. CQUni academic Rebecca Armstrong demonstrates her scanning techniques.

Vietnam has no free healthcare so many patients don’t present to a doctor until their disease processes are quite advanced.

Hence, a group of 10 CQUniversity Sonography students were able to cram plenty of experience into their recent clinical placement at Vietnam’s Can Tho University Hospital and Pharmacy.

“In the first two days, we saw more pathology than you’d see in a private practice in Australia in months,” says Jane Wardle, one of two academics leading the tour to Vietnam.

“They had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be what we believe are the first Australian sonography students to complete part of their clinical placement overseas.”

CQUni’s Sonography program was awarded Australian Government New Colombo Plan mobility funding to supplement student costs to visit Vietnam.

The trip and placements were organised by educational travel specialists Antipodeans Abroad. Students were able to enjoy tourism highlights outside their clinical hours.

Ms Wardle said the students were able to experience plenty of advanced disease pathology while coming to terms with unfamiliar hospital processes.

“We saw multiple livers with metastatic disease as a first presentation, a patient with a very large mass adjacent to her pancreas and liver with echogenic masses, a couple of ruptured spleens, one of which was a patient who presented two weeks after the accident, and a case of advanced bile duct cancer; to name just a few.”

Ms Wardle says the Vietnamese hospital staff were welcoming and organised presentations on specialised gastrointestinal tract and abdominal sonography techniques. In return, the Australian academics provided a presentation and workshop on shoulder ultrasound.

Thanks to the New Colombo Plan mobility funding, CQUniversity has an extensive and diverse range of worthwhile study experiences in the Indo-Pacific region planned for its students in 2018.

For example, in January, a group of Music Theatre students are heading to learn and perform at the Bentley Music Academy in Malaysia.

Business students are heading to Thailand in June for a Design for Social Change study tour, and to Myanmar in December for a Civil Engagement and Politics study tour.

A multidisciplinary group of CQUni Bundaberg students will have a China Cultural Immersion Project with Bundaberg’s Sister City of Guangxi, from late June to mid-July.

For more information about these study tours or other CQUGlobal Outbound opportunities, such as exchange or partner short-term programs, please visit or email .