Monday – I attended a meeting to met with the project coordinators at the university. We got acquainted with each other and went over the schedule for the week. There was a integrated behavioral health doctoral student from the United States. We talked about the differences between the U.S and Vietnam healthcare systems. We identified possible causes of the overcrowded hospitals and assess barriers to healthcare in the local community. We discussed about the importance of public health work and how it is overlooked as a profession. I explained my perspective on public health and promote any health education professions or public health related professions. This meets competency 7.6 – promote the health education profession.
Tuesday – I had the opportunity to learn about the social work department at the university hospital. A lot of the social work at the hospital is similar to health promotion. The hospital has daily health information their face book page. I was relief to hear that they have weekly workshop about health topics such as diabetes, hypertension, etc to the community. Every month the social work department put on a team around the world to travel to a remote area to give free clinic and health services to those in need. After meeting with the social work department, we discussed about the topic of tobacco smoking in Vietnam. There are many barriers to education about tobacco smoking. I identified factors that would that influence the learning process such as time, money, resources, self-efficacy, etc. This meets competency 1.5 – examine factors that influence the learning process. There are many stigma associated with not smoking especially for men in Vietnam.
Wednesday and Thursday – Wednesday was a cultural exploration day. On Thursday, we went to toured a rehabilitation and occupational therapy center in the district level. This district level hospital is considered secondary level healthcare in Vietnam. They had physical therapy and speech therapy for those who were in automobile accidents and those who had stroke. One big component I observed was how involved the family members were. The family members are taking turns to be with the patients and helping the patients getting better with physical therapy and emotional support. I spent time with the older adults at the game room. They loved company and someone to talk to. I played some games with them and help them with some simple exercises. They asked about health promotion, and I explained to them how important public health work and prevention is. This meets competency 7.6 – promote the health education profession. I also served as a health education resource person. I taught them certain exercises for their conditions after training by the staff there. This meets responsibility 6 overall – serve as a health education resource person.