On the last week of July the nurses and midwives at Vila Central Hospital (VCH) received new uniforms, donated by the third year nursing students from North Sydney and Canberra campuses. Part of the requirements for accepting a student into the International Student Experience in Vanuatu is that they need to engage in fundraising activities. The money raised by last year’s ACU students who came to Efate, plus money from the chocolates sold at the North Sydney Campus Reception has been used to buy 200 new uniforms for the nurses and midwives. The nursing and midwifery staff from VCH, in consultation with managers and administrators from the Vanuatu Ministry of Health, have been working very hard to develop the professional identity of the nursing and midwifery workforce. Whilst uniforms do not make the profession, they are an outward sign to the community of the workforce; and symbolise teamwork and belonging for the staff delivering patient care here in the hospital.
The VCH nursing staff said they wanted to be identified by the colour white and the midwives by the colour purple. The VCH nurses and midwives have expressed their thanks to the ACU nursing students for their assistance in helping them to get a bit closer to realising their vision for the profession in Vanuatu. Getting the uniforms to the hospital staff would not have been possible without the invaluable help and support of Mr Robert Bohm MP and Ms Jacqueline de Gallande and her team at the Red Cross who assisted ACU to navigate the processes associated with Vanuatu customs clearance. The Australian Catholic University (ACU) has been a long-time friend and partner of the Vila Central Hospital (VCH). In 2010 the Vanuatu Ministry of Health renewed the Memorandum of Understanding with ACU for another 5 years. Since 2005 undergraduate students have been coming to Efate to undertake a clinical attachment at VCH and also work alongside the staff at the Puanangisu Clinic in North Efate. For any further information please contact Jane Allnutt on firstname.lastname@example.org.