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College of Nursing

The College of Nursing’s Activities Related to Taiwan


The College of Nursing sponsors a Public and Global Health course in Taiwan each May. The Public and Global Health course is a required course for nursing students to take, as part of the nursing program. Taiwan is one of several locations that students can choose from for this course. The main objective of the course is to promote cultural sensitivity among the nursing students. It is also our hope that this experience will help the nursing students understand the struggles associated with experiencing an unfamiliar culture and they can translate these experiences into their own future nursing practice.

During the Taiwan global health course, 12 students along with two faculty members travel to Taiwan to work with ChiMei hospital group. CheMei is one of the largest corporations in Taiwan and as a part of their business they run three hospitals in the Tainan Taiwan area.

Nursing students from the BYU College of Nursing are assigned to a nurse and a medical unit in the Yong Kong Hospital in Tainan. The Students then work alongside the nurses in the hospital caring for patients in the ICU, ED and Hospice units. Students also participate in lectures and demonstrations on Chinese medicine including acupuncture, cupping, and traditional Chinese pharmaceuticals

One of our main focuses in Taiwan is learning about Chinese or Eastern medicine. This is an ancient form of medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years in China. It uses a much different thought process than Western medicine. The hospital system we work with integrates both Western techniques and Eastern techniques into their medical care. In many of the medical units in the hospital, the BYU students will see patients receiving both Western and Eastern medicine treatment simultaneously.

The nursing students first reaction to Eastern Medicine is usually one of disbelief or skepticism. They soon learn that Eastern Medicine can be just as effective if not more effective in the treatment of certain conditions. They also learn that even though US hospitals are often much more modern and private than Taiwanese hospitals, outcomes in Taiwanese hospitals are often better than US hospitals.

The BYU College of Nursing has partnered with ChiMei Hospital group for the past 6 years and plans to continue this relationship for the foreseeable future. We feel that each student that is able to participate in the Taiwan global health course comes home changed. Not only do they learn about a new culture and style of medicine they also learn from the compassion of the Taiwanese people. The nurses we associate with in Taiwan are among the most giving and companionate people I have ever witnessed. Their examples teach the students that there is more to caring for a patient than just scientific knowledge.

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