Bloomberg Nursing rolled out the welcome mat for two international visitors from the nursing faculty at Thailand’s Prince of Songkla University this July and August, 2012. Prince Songkla University is a multi-campus university in the idyllic setting of Southern Thailand, including one campus at the world-famous beach city of Phuket. Ampaiporn (Nid) Kautrokool, nursing instructor and Natenapha Khurpantavee, assistant professor, spent the month in Canada to observe nursing both in the classroom and the hospital setting. It was a month that provided the visitors with a valuable look at Canadian education, health care and nursing practice, as well as a chance to discover what Canada is all about.
“Four weeks of being here is a wonderful moment,” said Ampaiporn (Nid) Kautrakool. “A sense of caring through this warm welcome and help from everybody during our stay makes us feel like we are not the visitors, but the family members of Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing.”
For Nid, who teaches in the Department of Paediatric Nursing at Prince of Songkla University, it was a memorable learning experience to sit in on courses at the Faculty of Nursing, such as Nur 460: Persistent Illness and Nursing Care Issues, and also observe at the world-renowned Hospital for Sick Children. Natenapha, whose work and teaching in Thailand revolves around rehabilitation, had the opportunity to observe at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, which specializes in adult rehabilitation and complex continuing care, while also sitting in on courses at the faculty.
This unique opportunity came about when the director of the Bloomberg Faculty Global Affairs Office, Freida Chavez, and the dean of the Faculty of Nursing at Prince of Songkla University, Dr. Aranya Chaowalit, met in Geneva at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2011. Plans are underway for more international exchanges between faculty and potential students, along with closer collaborations on research training and mentorship initiatives.
The success of this month-long visit holds great possibility for future collaboration with Thailand. As Nid said, “we experienced not only academic achievement but also an invaluable friendship. We wish this will lead to the strong collaboration between the two institutes in the future.”