Vietnam clinical placement an eye-opening experience for CQU Medical Sonography students

18 April 2023

Twelve CQUniversity Medical Sonography students had a once-in-a-lifetime experience touring Vietnam’s radiology and other health facilities, thanks to the New Colombo Plan and the CQUGlobal Outbound Program.

The third-year students, and two CQU academics, travelled to Can Tho in February for the two-week clinical placement, which was facilitated by the Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy (CTUMP) and the Can Tho General Hospital.

The students, from the Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Mackay campuses, participated in case study workshops with CTUMP Hospital’s Director of Diagnostic Imaging Department Dr Nguyen Vu Dang.

They had the chance to view pathology not normally seen in Australia and interact with local students and hospital clinicians.

The program was facilitated in Can Tho by the Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy (CTUMP) with students being placed in two city hospitals, the Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital and the Can Tho General Hospital.

The program started in 2017 and this was the fourth trip and the first since COVID restrictions have eased.

Dr Vu Dang congratulated the students on their participation.

"Thank you very much and congratulations to our successful collaboration of organising consecutive clinical placements like these,” he said.

“We definitely commit to offer the best for our students, as well as our co-working teams."

In addition, the students visited the Australian Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City and met with the Deputy Consul-General.

Student Bianca Blumer described the placement in Vietnam as “life-changing".

“I had high expectations and a lot of excitement coming into this unique experience, but all my expectations were met and exceeded,” she said.

“I felt extremely lucky to experience working life in Vietnam and to connect with such a knowledgeable and talented medical team on such a close scale.

“It was interesting to speak with the imaging team in Vietnam and discuss cases. Even talking to patients was a great opportunity to improve my interpersonal and cultural awareness skills. The hospital system in Vietnam is different to the one that I am used to in Australia, and it was amazing to see how such a high caseload of patients and imaging is managed so effectively and for the best patient outcome."

Bianca said she gained a significant amount of knowledge and information from the tour.

“A highlight of the trip would definitely be the people - from the teaching staff to the interpreters, to the medical team and my fellow colleagues - it has been incredible to get to know such a passionate and caring group of individuals so intimately,” she said.

The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

The New Colombo Plan Mobility Program provides funding to Australian universities to support Australian undergraduate students’ participation in study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research in 40 host locations across the Indo-Pacific region.

Click HERE to see more photos from the tour.