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Eastern University, Philadelphia-Area Hospitals Train South Korean Nursing Students

Monday October 11, 2010
Fourteen nursing students made up the 2010 class of the Korean Global Workplace Training Program, which was hosted by Eastern University and Lankenau Hospital.
Fourteen nursing students made up the 2010 class of the Korean Global Workplace Training Program, which was hosted by Eastern University and Lankenau Hospital.
(Photo courtesy of Eastern University)
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Fourteen South Korean nursing students spent 16 weeks learning about the U.S. healthcare system this summer as part of the Korean Global Workplace Training Program in the Greater Philadelphia Tri-State region.

The program, which has been hosted for the past three years by Eastern University of St. Davids, Pa., began in 2005.

“The students’ understanding of nursing skills grew and changed during this experience,” said Sung Chon Yoo, MSN, coordinator of Eastern’s Korean Nurse Summer Program. “I am confident that they will continue to develop our profession in the future.”

Yoo said the Korean government sent the students to the U.S. to train to be more culturally diverse by understanding the global workplace as well as to assure domestic and overseas competence, improve academic abilities in the Global Workplace Training Program and strengthen nursing skills in the field through training outstanding people.

“We can truthfully say that these goals were met,” she said. “We had a wonderful opportunity to learn about the U.S healthcare system.”

In addition to Lankenau Hospital, Wynnewood, Pa., the students observed nursing care at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, Malvern, Pa.; Bryn Mawr’s Home Care Network; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, Philadelphia; Melmark, Berwyn, Pa.; and the assisted living community at Paoli Pointe, Paoli, Pa.

The students noted many surprising differences between healthcare in the U.S. and Korea. For example, they learned hospital care can be nonprofit. They said seeing equal care being offered to patients from all socioeconomic levels reinforced their philosophy that “Life is before money, which is precious.”

Students also took note of nurses’ relationships with other colleagues.

“We were amazed by the relationships between the nurses and social workers,” Yuri Kim said. “They all worked together toward meeting patient needs, increasing patient satisfaction and assuring patient comfort.”

Sohee Kang noted “the relationships between nurses and physicians are very different from what we have experienced in Korea. Here, they work together closely and respectfully. Attending physicians depend on the nurse’s initial assessment as well as the residents. The nurses are essential to the plan of care. We have learned that through this process, a patient receives good care.”

Students also noticed nurses from local facilities took time to teach them and explain their nursing roles despite busy schedules.

The students spent most of their time at Lankenau and expressed appreciation to Laurie Watson, RN, MSN, who serves as director of patient guest relations and volunteer services, and many others for their support and encouragement.


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