Carissa Beddows is heading to Vietnam.
Carissa Beddows is heading to Vietnam. Carissa Beddows

Murgon nurse to ply her trade in Vietnam

STUDENT Nurse Carissa Beddows is off to Vietnam to help provide medical assistance to people in need.

Ms Beddows, from Murgon, is in her third and final year of studying nursing through online correspondence at the University of Southern Queensland.

She has been chosen along with 14 others to go to Vietnam as part of a USQ placement opportunity, which will run from January 3 to January 26, 2019.

"It's just something that came up at university, and when I applied, I didn't think I would get a chance to go, but I got accepted,” she said.

"To start with, the applications were just expressions of interest through the university, and then it took a few weeks to come back. Once we found out we were accepted, we had a few meetings and then a little workshop. We're still in the stage of getting prepared, but it's very exciting.”

While Ms Beddows is away, she will gain valuable experience for her nursing career.

"In our first week, we're going to Hanoi, so we'll be placed in a major hospital there and will have a chance to look around,” she said.

"Then we go out into the communities for a couple of weeks, where we'll go around setting up tents and marquees and do some appointments with people, checking their vital signs and that sort of thing. We'll have a translator with us at all times, so I'm very thankful for that.”

Ms Beddows will have to contribute to funding her stay, while receiving some help from local organisations.

"Because most of us are mature age students, we couldn't put it on our hex debts like some other attendants can, which means I have to personally fund some of the costs,” she said.

"The university came up with some funding for us, and I had a $1000 bursary from the Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women's Network that I put towards it as well. We've also been asking for donations so that we can take more medical supplies with us to the communities in need.”

It'll also be Ms Beddows' first time travelling overseas.

"It's a great opportunity. I've never been overseas, ever. I already know that it's going to be a very eye-opening experience for me. Some of our accommodation will be very different to what we're used to, and we're lodging with some home-stays and families for the week, too,” she said.

"I'm most nervous about the flights. I've been from Queensland to Melbourne before, but it'll be my second time flying ever. Otherwise, just the impending stay over there. I don't know what other countries are like, or what their health services are like, compared to ours.”

Ms Beddows is now learning about the country so that she can do her best in the placement.

"I don't think I'll ever be prepared for what life will throw at me over there, but I've been brushing up on different skills and trying to learn new things where I can,” she said.

"I'm also doing research on their country values so that when I get over there, I'm not that in the dark. Even with their language, making sure I know simple words and greetings.”

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