Austrian Nursing Students spend two weeks at Brock

It was a brief visit to Canada, but two third-year nursing students from Austria gained valuable experiences during a two-week internship with the Brock University Department of Nursing.Maria Schmidt and Lisa Manzenreiter are enrolled in the Paracelsus Private Medical University of Salzburg, Austria, which requires a mandatory internship that can be fulfilled anywhere in the world.“We found out about the partnership with Brock University from our professor at Paracelsus who provided us with a list of opportunities,” said Manzenreiter.When the pair saw Brock was an option, they thought it would be a great opportunity to see the Canadian landscape in the fall.Schmidt said everyone at Brock made them feel welcome.“There are a lot of people who wanted to help us, and there is a lot of support for us here from the students and staff.”The pair was provided with a calendar of classes they were invited to attend.“Through the classes, we have learned about Canada as another type of healthcare system with similar concepts and interventions to those in Austria,” said Manzenreiter.Having the Paracelsus international students here is a reciprocal agreement for Brock nursing students, said Brock Department of Nursing Chair Dawn Prentice.“Not only does the agreement with Paracelsus provide Brock with the opportunity to raise the international profile of its Nursing program, it also provides Brock nursing students with the opportunity to learn about healthcare in another country,” she said.During the two week internship, Schmidt and Manzenreiter participated in a simulated blood transfusion and a nasogastric tube placement scenario. They also attended a community clinical with a student who was implementing art therapy with seniors, which allowed them to interact with seniors in a retirement home and carve pumpkins with some of the patients. The pair agreed it was a fun experience, especially because if they were to visit a nursing home in Austria, it would have been different because of stricter regulations.Schmidt said the lab setting at Brock was also a new experience for the pair.“Because we are specialized to be psychiatric nurses, we had not experienced a clinical lab setting exactly like what is taught here,” she said. “Brock has a lab with patient simulators that includes babies and a mother giving birth, which we do not have in our program.”Schmidt and Manzenreiter are now encouraging Brock nursing students to participate in an internship at Paracelsus.“We invite you to visit our amazing country. Austria is very beautiful. We have snow in winter, warm summers, lots of lakes and the Alps,” said Schmidt.She said Austrian cities are old, with Vienna being a standout.“But Salzburg, where our university is located, has a long history of classical music. It is the city where Mozart was born and has many cultural experiences. Any Brock students with an opportunity to visit Paracelsus should definitely come. They won’t be disappointed,” Schmidt said. read more

Top UN rights official welcomes acquittal of human rights activists in Egypt

In a statement issued from Geneva, Mr. Vieira de Mello hailed the release of 64-year old Dr. Saad El Din Ibrahim and his co-defendants as “an important and significant verdict” demonstrating Egypt’s commitment to justice.In May 2001, a State Security Court had sentenced Dr. Ibrahim, Director of the Ibn Khaldun Centre for Development Studies in Cairo, to seven years in prison, and 27 other defendants – mostly colleagues at the Centre or members of the Egyptian Women Voters’ Support Centre – received sentences ranging from one to seven years. The charges ranged from accepting foreign funds without authorization and disseminating false information harmful to Egypt’s interests, to embezzlement.In the wake of those sentences, UN experts on human rights defenders and on judicial independence expressed their concern about allegations that the charges were politically motivated, as well as the speed with which the verdict was reportedly reached – following reports that the 28 defendants were convicted and sentenced within 90 minutes.Recently, Mr. Vieira de Mello had raised the case with Egyptian authorities and expressed his concern regarding Dr. Ibrahim’s deteriorating health. He also expressed the sincere hope that the overall process would be conducted in a manner consistent with international human rights standards. In his statement today, he reiterated his firm belief that the an independent judicial system is the cornerstone of a democratic state based upon the rule of law, and an important safeguard for the protection of human rights. read more