Experiencing Summer University in Switzerland

A blog written by students of PSG College of Nursing, narrating their experience of attending a nursing summer university program in Switzerland. 

Attending the Summer University Program 2016, at La Source in Lausanne, Switzerland was a great experience. The course that was held from June 20th till July 13, 2016,  greatly enhanced nursing leadership skills and motivated us to work towards inculcating the skills among nurses in future.

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The theme for the program was ‘LEADERSHIP FROM BEDSIDE TO PARLIAMENT’. The program encouraged the group to work towards exploring the importance of leadership skills in nursing for better delivery of patient care and enabling us to represent ourselves as an advocate for patients.

The summer university brought together students from various part of the world to join hands and experience an international program. The institutions that participated in the program were PSG College of NursingIndia, San Diego State UniversityCalifornia, PolyU, Hongkong, Jiangnan University, China and La Source, Switzerland. The students from different institutions were put together in groups during classes for the entire duration of the program.

The most interesting activity for the students was getting to know about each other countries and understanding the perspectives of nursing in different countries. Lectures were held on the different aspects of leadership in nursing and identifying the similarities and differences among the students point of view. Classes also concentrated on anthropology and ethnicity, palliative care and end of life in each country. It was the ideal platform to share information and understand each country’s practice. Classes also aimed at engaging the students in various group activities that stimulated the leadership ability of every individual.

Another interesting aspect of the summer university was the clinical exposure given by the school to the students, placing them in different settings including CHUV Hospital, geriatric homes, NANT psychiatric hospital, etc. These postings helped the students differentiate and sort out the  health setups and delivery of care by the nurses in Switzerland. We were able to identify their way of handing over sessions among the nurses, their collaboration with the health care professionals, their way of handling medications and the assignment of the students to the patients.

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Apart from the lectures, we were also taken to visit healthcare organizations Switzerland. We visited the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at Geneva, followed by talks on the Red Cross society and its functions. A lecture was also held on the International Council of Nurses, the importance of registration and its functions. The next visit was to the GRAAP where lectures were given by experts about their way of approach to mentally ill people. This was followed by group activities to learn about the other countries’ system of treatment. Another visit was to the capital city of Switzerland, BERN where we learn about the history of parliament and the governing bodies.

The participants of the program were asked to choose a topic regarding leadership among nurses for poster presentation. Evaluations were made by experts from Switzerland and other countries and a special prize was awarded to the winners.

We didn’t miss the chance to explore Switzerland on the weekends. We visited France (Evian) by boat and toured the city in humid climate. We proceeded to see the Olympic museum at Ouchy Olympque, were we learnt about its origin and development. We also had the opportunity to visit the most beautiful parts of Switzerland, such as Interlaken, Glacier 3000 and a chocolate and cheese factory. It was a pleasure to explore the city of Lausanne and shop in the markets.

It was really hard to bid farewell to Switzerland and to our new friends. We received our certificates at the closing ceremony. All students were presented with a Swiss knife. We had a farewell dinner at an Indian restaurant that was the final memorable moment in Switzerland.