Townsville based charity, YWAM Medical Ships, has signed on as a placement host for James Cook University’s (JCU) nursing and midwifery students in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Nursing and midwifery students will have the option of completing a clinical placement as part of their studies aboard the YWAM Medical Ship, MV YWAM PNG, in rural and remote areas of PNG.
The first group have just completed two weeks aboard the MV YWAM PNG, where they served alongside 121 volunteers from 17 nations in Western Province.
Head of Nursing and Midwifery, Professor Melanie Birks, said that the collaboration with YWAM Medical Ships is an extension of JCU’s ongoing relationship with PNG.
“JCU has a long history of relationships in Papua New Guinea and continues to work with local health institutions in contributing to the education of nurses and midwives across the country.
“We have also established a number of important relationships through conducting research into issues of relevance to nursing and midwifery in the region.
“We are thrilled at the opportunity to send our nursing and midwifery students on the YWAM Medical Ship, with the experiences of these students expected to enhance their preparation for the professional role.
“We are extremely proud of the students who have completed this first placement, with reports indicating how well they have adapted to the challenges and contributed to the activities of the ship’s staff.
“This placement reinforces the quality of their education so far, while further developing their skills, knowledge and appreciation of the unique context in which we work and live,” said Professor Birks.
YWAM Medical Ships Managing Director, Mr Ken Mulligan, said he is delighted with the partnership that has been established between JCU and YWAM Medical Ships.
“The partnership is another positive step toward strengthening the growing links between Townsville and PNG.
“We are pleased to help provide a platform for the students to be introduced to the needs in PNG’s rural areas as they start their career.
“In addition to growing in their clinical skills, the students will have the opportunity to work alongside Papua New Guinean doctors, nurses, midwives, and community health workers in rural health facilities.
“Just a few days ago one of the midwifery students had the opportunity to assist with a birth alongside a local nurse and an Australian midwife.
“Experiences like this provide a great opportunity to build heart to heart connections with one another – it’s a beautiful picture of Townsville and PNG working together for the benefit of others,” said Mr Mulligan.
The four students aboard the MV YWAM PNG have been working alongside healthcare professionals from around the world, helping to administer immunisations, family planning, antenatal checks, outpatient services, and health education.
YWAM Medical Ships will welcome five groups of JCU nursing and midwifery students aboard the MV YWAM PNG throughout this year.
Since the beginning of 2018, the MV YWAM PNG has visited 61 villages in Morobe, Milne Bay and Western Provinces.
The MV YWAM PNG will return to Townsville in June for two months of maintenance and YWAM’s annual event, “Breakfast by the Sea” on June 15th. To book a table, visit https://ywamships.org.au/bbts/