International cooperation



Nguyen Thu Giang, student of Advanced Nursing Program at HMU has shared experiences of her visiting trip to Tampere, Finnland as exchange student in Autaumn 2016.

Before I came to Finland, I just knew something about this beautiful country with the land of a thousand lakes, Santa Claus, snow and high level education system. So, when my university offered me the opportunity to study in Tampere I immediately jumped at it. I remember the first day I came here alone and this is the first time I went far away my family to study for a long time. Everything was so new for me: transportation system, people, weather, culture.

I felt a little bit nervous about the time I would stay here and how to adapt with a lot of new things. But after I met my tutor, something became easier, she told me some basic thing about Finland and gave me some advice. I had some Finnish friends, who I met when they were exchange students at my home country but they live in another city. Before I came here, I made friends with some VietNamese students and I decided to stay with one of them. With helping of many people, I felt it was not difficult to survive like I imagined. I have learnt some new things, what I have not experienced before.

Some people asked me about culture shock but I laughed and told them that it was not really culture shock, it was only interesting situations. I was totally stunned by the weather. In Viet Nam it was around 30ºC and here it was all snow and ice. Addition, I have not seen snow in my home country but in the first days of November, I saw and played with snow like a kid even it was definitely cold and my hands were frozen. And then about people, I never thought the difference between VietNamese and Finns was so big when it comes to shyness and protecting their private lives. I often felt like I came across as pushy, when I was just being my normal, cheerful, energetic self. I think it is difficult to get close to a Finn, but once they are very nice, sincere and trustworthy.

They are much calmer than VietNamese, and they do what they say they will. In my orientation week, a little bit worried for me but I was easy to adapt with because of friendliness from tutor, teachers in TAMK. What I like most in TAMK is a lot of activities for exchange students and they were fun. Finns love sauna and of course I experienced it in TAMK’s outside activities. It was extremely so new and quite hard for me but just after several times I became like it so much. I love the Finnish folk dancing, it is incredible and I will teach my friends that dancing when I come back my home university for sure. I am very impressed by the education systems here and how well-equipped everything is. And, here they focus more on the practical, rather than the theoretical, like in my home country.

And then there’s the way teaching staff and follow students, help them when they’ve got a problem. Afterwards students feel better and not like they’ve been put down. The quality of teaching is remarkable. Students are somehow on the same level with the lectures and this is completely different from not only my home university but also whole schools in Viet Nam. I am very happy that Finnish is the second language I have tried to learnt, it is difficult for me but a lot of fun with friendly teacher. With me, 3 months is short but it is enough to feel how great Finland is and I am thinking about my trip to come back here in the near future. And Finland, where I try things I thought I was never able to do.  


 After orientation week, I was assigned to three placements in different hospital of the city. Before the day of training in each placement, a nursing student or my supervisor picked me to visit the ward and met my mentor nurse if it was possible. It was so good because I did not waste my time to find the way to ward at the first day of training.  During my practice, I was allowed to do some nursing techniques such as: injection, insert IV lines, urinary catheter,ect under the guidance of my mentor nurse. I was experienced a new teaching method, which I have not done before. It was “each one teach one”, it means one mentor nurse would follow and guide every my working shift with dedicated directions. What an amazing teaching method! I did try almost nursing procedures here, which I did in Viet Nam but there are some differences in theory and medical tools.

With her supervisor  Making Christmas cake at the University in Tampere 

In Finland, there are two levels of nurse: practical level (125 credits) and polytechnic level (140 credits, 1credit = 40 hour). With practical level, take care, support and promote the growth and rehabilitation of people from various age groups and in various life situations. The goal is to help, guide, and support the clients to cope with their normal daily activities. The graduates from this program will be able to interact with people and to have equal respect for them. With polytechnic level: there are three options: the registered nurse, the public health nurse, the midwife. The three streams all include studies in the basic education for nursing. The education of the nurse and public health nurse comprise the three-year education of nursing responsible for general care. Nurses are registered as nurse and public health nurse as public health nurse respectively. The midwife holds both the nurse title/registration and the midwife title/registration. They have to study the (general care) nurse degree first. Registered nurses tend to work mostly in hospitals, whereas the registered public health nurses tend to work in community health centers and schools. Though their training is very similar they are considered to be separate professions.

With the nurses and oldest patients  With the patient 

The biggest difference between nursing care in Finland and Viet Nam is total care. It means in Finland, nurses have to take care everything for the patients: from basic care (taking shower, morning washing, feeding,ect) to medical care ( giving medication, injection, nursing techniques,ect). In addition, the relationship between nurses and doctors; between medical staffs and patients are so friendly, no stress as in Viet Nam.

Nurses are divided into small groups (2-3 people) to work with 6-9 patients and they just work about 8 hours/day and average 2 days off each week. They get no stress in working, they take care more effectively.







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