University of Queensland nursing student Elissa Jackson, of Flinders View, has just returned from a four-week stint working in a medical clinic in Cambodia.
University of Queensland nursing student Elissa Jackson, of Flinders View, has just returned from a four-week stint working in a medical clinic in Cambodia. David Nielsen

Student works in military clinic

WHILE many of her fellow students were happy just to kick back and enjoy their summer holidays, Elissa Jackson took the opportunity to help those in need in Cambodia.

The 23-year-old was among a group of 15 University of Queensland nursing students who, accompanied by three clinical lecturers, departed on January 5 to a new military clinic at the foot of the Phnom Bok Mountain, near Siem Reap in Cambodia’s north-west.

The group also included Jessica Taege, of Raceview, Brookwater resident Alexandra Miller and Karana Downs student Rebecca Fletcher.

Ms Jackson said during the four-week community health placement the group conducted basic health checks and classes on general health covering topics such as basic first-aid.

Given the history of the site as a military training camp, she said students also treated many returned soldiers with older wounds such as amputations and landmine injuries, as well as a number of people affected by tropical diseases like malaria.

“Close to half of the military personnel had some form of landmine injury, mostly to their legs,” Ms Jackson said.

“Most had happened quite a few years ago and had healed well. Quite a few had access to prosthetics and had learned to live with it.”

The Flinders View resident said the experience had opened her eyes and got her back to the basics.

“At the clinics we all had an idea what we would use in a hospital back here, but that didn’t apply,” Ms Jackson said.

“Here we have a never-ending supply of medications and continuous electricity. They had a generator.

“Any treatment we proposed had to be sustainable for the doctor and nurse at the clinic after we left.”



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