March 5, 2018

UAMS Nursing, Pharmacy Students Go Abroad Over Holiday Break

Taiwan student picsMarch 5, 2018 | Winter break is usually a time for a students to rest, relax and recharge, but a dozen UAMS students from the colleges of Pharmacy and Nursing decided to do something a little different over the holidays.


A half-dozen students from each college traveled to Taiwan for a three-week study abroad trip at Kaohsiung Medical University in Kaohsiung City. The students submersed themselves in the health care practices of Taiwan, touring hospitals and learning of traditional Chinese medicine customs.


It was a unique experience as Taiwanese hospitals offer western medicine blended with Chinese tradition.


“Patients can be treated with western medicine, Chinese medicine or both,” said Allison Mink, a senior nursing student.


The students were taught Chinese medicine practices, which included time in a pharmacology lab to make a popular Chinese herbal remedy used for burns.


Postpartum patients are offered traditional Chinese herbal meals every day, believed to help increase lactation for nursing mothers, so students learned herbal recipes in a cooking class.


Several of the students were intrigued by Taiwan’s focus on preventive care, as well as its concentration on mental and community health.


“It was outstanding,” said Courtney Anemone, a senior nursing student. “There were community health centers where patients could go to not only seek treatment and learn how to properly take their medications, but also learn life skills.”


The students left Taiwan inspired by their experience and the like-minded students they met in Taiwan, eager to make a difference in health care.


“It made me more excited to be a nurse,” said Kelsey Hicks, a senior nursing student. “It was incredible to meet so many people from across the world who held the same passion for nursing and patients as we did.”


The College of Pharmacy has offered this trip to students for several years, but this was the first year students from the College of Nursing have been able to go.


Mink said she would encourage any student to go on this trip.


“It gets you out of your comfort zone and allows you to better understand the profession,” said Mink. “You’re never going to take care of one single group of people and this allows you to learn different cultures and customs, and immerses you in them. It will make you a better-rounded individual and health care professional.”