Nursing professionals need to be mindful of their own health and safety

Nurses are at the heart of the healthcare system, and play a critical role in ensuring patient wellbeing – but they’re also likely to experience violence, injuries and other threats to their own wellbeing.

Nursing students from the International Institute of Health Sciences (IIHS) attended a Guest Lecture from Deakin University Senior Lecturer Stephane Bouchoucha as part of the 2018 Deakin Week in Colombo. Focusing on Occupational Health and Safety concerns in the nursing profession, the lecture sought to prepare students for this unfortunate reality of the workplace and to provide them with practical advice to support their own health and wellbeing.

The session sought to provide insight into the importance of preparing nursing students to help prevent injuries and avoid violence in the workplace. Equipping nursing students with practical advice to combat health and safety risks and protecting the wellbeing of those who support our health were other key topics covered.

Dr Bouchoucha addresses Sri Lankan nursing students during the Deakin Week in Colombo event.

“I think that being aware of all this helps to prepare students a bit more, and when I was a student I definitely would have liked to have known of these challenges. It helps with developing skills to become stronger in the workforce and learn to deal with the problem,” said Dr Bouchoucha. “If you want to look after other people, you need to know how to look after yourself.”

For many workers in the health industry, experiences of physical and non-physical violence in the workplace can reduce their levels of job satisfaction, lead to absenteeism, and also take a toll on patient care.

Deakin Week in Colombo is a week-long event where Deakin University’s expert academics conduct lectures, seminars and information sessions for students, as well as professional development events with Sri Lankan partners. Deakin has had a long standing partnership with the IIHS over the last seven years, and this event was an opportunity to share knowledge and further invest in the relationship.

“Students get to see who works at Deakin, they see what we are about – rather than just looking at the website, they can meet us face-to-face. They know a bit more about the course, about our teaching. For me, it’s really great to see this partnership and so many people engaged,” said Dr Bouchoucha.

Students from the IIHS, one of Deakin University’s partner institutions in Sri Lanka.

IIHS students who have followed the pathway to Deakin have found great success, landing scholarships and well paid work in Australia. Carl Jones, International Manager for Deakin University, said “it’s wonderful to see IIHS students perform so well. They’re motivated, well equipped and popular. It’s testament to the quality tuition they’ve received at IIHS.”

Students Zayani and Janadari said in the work experience they had undertaken so far, violence, bullying and injuries were common problems – but that the guest lecture provided them with a lot of practical advice.
“Today was awesome. We got the opportunity to discuss so many things,” said Zayani. “This is our last year, we have so many questions and we need someone who can really guide us – so it was really helpful,” added Janadari.

IIHS Nursing students Zayani and Janadari said the guest lecture provided them with some really helpful insights.

Because of IIHS’ partnership with the Australian university, many nursing students have the opportunity to complete part of their degree in Australia. Zayani said she is hoping to come to Australia to study in a ‘’world-class university’.

Offering excellent facilities and flexible learning, Deakin boasts one of the largest nursing schools in Australia. Deakin’s Bachelor of Nursing is highly regarded among hospitals and health facilities, and is ranked 24th in the world by the prestigious QS World University Rankings by Subject.

For information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.

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