Four City nursing students recently travelled to Hong Kong as part of our annual exchange programme through the WC2 Network.

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City, University of London and Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU) are members of the World Cities World Class University (WC2) Network, which brings together top universities located in major world cities in order to respond to the challenges and opportunities facing urban areas.

As part of an on-going annual exchange programme with HKPU, four postgraduate nursing students from City, Sarah Marshall(PG Adult Nursing), Klaudia Babilas, Maham Shazad and Emmanuel Asare (Postgrad Mental Health Nursing), recently travelled to Hong Kong for four days of cultural and academic learning.

The team arrived in Hong Kong independently of each other on the first day, and began lectures together on day two of their trip.

Learning from HKPU students

As part of a group reflection on their days of lectures, Sarah Marshall commented:

“Day two we had a lecture on dissertations from some of the Masters students who were presenting their topics. It then went to feedback from the group: from the lecturers, and then all the other students who were attending."

Maham Shazad added:

“It was useful because of the topics. We had the smoking one, and then there was the one on dementia, which, as all of us are in adult nursing and mental health nursing, was quite useful to get literature and background research and stuff from all that.”

Discussing day three of the trip, Sarah shared:

“Day three was about the ‘social context and trends of childbearing, in particular the management of infertility’. The first lecture was from a guest speaker who was an assistant consultant from one of the hospitals linked to the university. She talked about the theory behind infertility and also the medical and surgical procedures or treatment associated with it. The second lecture was from a social counsellor for couples who were actually going through infertility treatment.”

House of Innovation tour

The final agenda item for day three was a tour of HKPU’s ‘House of Innovation’, on which Sarah reflected:

“I just thought it was lovely how they displayed it, they had their own room to display all these different ideas, and the fact that we got a tour as well meant that half of them were explained to us, and we could ask questions. It was just really lovely idea. A really good way of presenting new ideas.”

Klaudia Babilas agreed, saying:

“I think it’s really nice for students who have actually been involved with the research to come and actually look at their own work, and see how much that could possibly bring, and how much more there is to do. So it kind of, keeps you motivated and inspired to keep going.”

Emmanuel Asare added:

“Even from the healthcare aspect, you have nurse led centres where nurses from research, they are actually empowered to work with students, where they are able to see patients. So, in terms of the research that the professors are doing in nursing thought, and taking that into supporting the patients; that’s an interesting concept.”

Traditional Chinese Medicine

The visiting students were also lectured on traditional Chinese medicine, on which Sarah commented:

“(Day four) was on traditional Chinese medicine, but in particular a lecture about acupoints (and meridians)… lung meridian, heart meridian, and pericardium meridian.

“It was more difficult to get involved in than the than the previous three, because it was quite an in-depth lecture that the students found quite challenging anyway, so we required some… Chinese translation maybe, from the English."

Maham said:

"Yeah it was interesting to see that they had a whole unit on acupuncture, which is something, obviously, we don’t have and just how complicated it really is. There were so many terms we didn’t understand. Or what they were referring to, but generally it was interesting, just a little bit difficult for us to get as involved in as we would like to, I guess."

Emmanuel added:

"I think even looking at some of the meridian points they mention, for example, for manic depression, psychosis, stress…all these different points. Where they can treat these illnesses based on finding the correct points… I think it would be an interesting concept to get more understanding of how that works, the success rates or the efficacy of the actual methods.”

Final reflections and thanks

Leading the group's final reflections on the exchange visit, Maham said:

“We just want to say thank you to Polytech and City for giving us this opportunity. It has been really useful, and insightful on things that we did miss, and hopefully it will be useful for future students as well.”

Klaudia added:

I think it’s a great, great learning experience. It’s an eye opener, it gives you ideas that you might want to follow up on, and you might want to look out for. Or keep your mind open about certain things. It’s also a great chance to explore Hong Kong. It’s an amazing, diverse city, with amazing food and hiking trails, and culture.

“It’s just amazing to explore, and have that chance, alongside studying and attending lectures and university, because I think it just completes the experience.”

Sarah then added:

"And it’s also given us an opportunity to meet some really, really lovely people. You know, students, lecturers, course directors, event people out on the streets when we required help. Everyone has been really lovely, and that’s just made the trip in a lot of ways."

Lastly, Emmanuel shared his take home points:

“I think for me, the big take back message is that, the experience has been wonderful, but even in terms of moving into mental health practice as a newly qualified nurse, I probably now have a new dimension, in terms of being open minded on what is available, and not just always exploring the pharmacological route, but that there are other routes that, maybe, there needs to be further discussion and research into. In terms of how these can be transported, if efficacious, into supporting patients’ recovery.”

The exchange programme co-organiser, Jacqueline Davies, psychology and communication skills lead for Adult Nursing in the School of Health Sciences at City, said:

"In May 2020 we look forward to receiving four MSc nursing students from HKPU who are already signed up and ready to come to us for a week. If the political scene in Hong Kong settles down we will invite our nursing MSc students to go to Hong Kong in September 2020."

Bursaries donation

This visit was made possible by travel bursaries donated by the Worshipful Company of Needlemakers.

Find out more

More information on the School of Health Sciences' international partnerships can be found on the School's internationalisation webpage.

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