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Daniel enhances his clinical knowledge with second outbound trip

Published:22 November 2018

CQUni Bachelor of Nursing student Daniel Sos (far right) recently participated in his second outbound experience in Cambodia, where he volunteered his time to treat locals living in rural regions.

CQUniversity’s New Colombo Mobility Program provides students with an opportunity like no other - to experience a healthcare setting in a different culture.

That’s according to Bachelor of Nursing student Daniel Sos who recently participated in his second outbound trip as part of the program.

From 21 October to 5 November, Daniel and 11 other Nursing students undertook two medical missions in Cambodia, one on Silk Island and the other on Koh Sdach. The main tasks included conducting basic health checks, and educating locals on health-related topics.

Daniel said his interest in the Cambodian outbound trip had been fuelled by his unforgettable Nepalese experience in 2016.

“I wanted to continue to broaden my learning in relation to different cultures, and the healthcare settings of third-world countries – and that I did,” Mr Sos said.

“Both outbound experiences were similar in that the locals were incredibly grateful for the health services they received.”

Daniel said Cambodia’s healthcare industry operated via a pay-as-you-go system so, unfortunately, many locals were unable to receive much-needed medical support.

“Our volunteer work focused on treating locals living in Cambodia’s rural regions; people who have never seen a health professional before,” he said.

“There are two memories, in particular, that will stay with me; witnessing elderly patients smile and show gratitude for something as simple as a basic health check, and having a 12-year-old Cambodian patient help me translate information to children aged between four and 15 who were receiving a top-to-toe examination.”

The Trip Team Leader, CQUniversity Nursing Lecturer Dr Carina Anderson said it was wonderful to see students apply their Australian nursing skills to health clinics in Cambodia.

“Being exposed to healthcare systems in countries such as Cambodia can result in a greater appreciation of the healthcare system we have in Australia,” Dr Anderson said.

“I not only witnessed the life-changing impact the volunteer work had on locals, but also the positive effect it had on our students.”

Daniel said the experience had motivated him to look into volunteer work based here in Australia, preferably within Indigenous communities.

“The Australian healthcare system may be far superior than that of a third-world country, but sadly the tyranny of distance faced by Cambodian locals is similar to that faced by isolated Australian Indigenous communities, which I experienced first-hand while on remote placement,” Mr Sos said.

"People living out bush in Australia also have limited access to healthcare services, and have to travel days to see a medical professional, and as such, I would like to volunteer my time to help make a positive difference to the delivery of Indigenous healthcare."

This Cambodia trip is part of the CQUGlobal Outbound Program and was funded under the New Colombo Plan.