Messages from Alumni and Students

Introducing IPNU

Satomi MINAMIDA,BS, Class of 20XX

Ever since my high school days, I’ve found myself intrigued by international cooperation. While studying at the university, this idea of international cooperation developed into a real interest. At the time, the university was working to support a JICA Health Project, and I was given the opportunity to attend lectures by faculty members, and to meet other people interested in international cooperation. Before then, I had thought about the idea of working for some type of organization supporting international cooperation, but the idea didn’t quite feel “real” to me. This university experience, led me to start thinking about how I could connect international cooperation, and nursing particularly, to my own life, and how I could become more involved in such efforts in the future.

After graduating from the university, I worked for six years as a nurse in Japan. After that, I went to Paraguay and volunteered at a hospital for two years. I didn’t have a Paraguayan nursing license, so I wasn’t allowed to practice as a medical professional there. I mostly helped my colleagues and provided health guidance to patients and residents. In Paraguay, there have been concerns over increases in lifestyle-related diseases, and improving diet and exercie habits is considered critical. For this reason, it was important to improve patients’ knowledge about good health, and urge them to develop good habits to improve their health.

With help from my colleagues, I continued to offer health guidance at town hall meetings and patient gatherings in Paraguay. I also prepared documents as a way to help offer health guidance, but the language barrier prevented me from finding the right words at times. Some people in Paraguay can’t read, so I tried to incorporate drawings and pictures into the documents I prepared. I discovered that these visuals were particularly useful. While studying at the university, I was not very good at preparing visuals, so I was very happy to be able to help people by making useful diagrams for lectures and workshops. I noticed that people were often bored by one-sided explanations, so I tried to conduct my lectures in a more interactive way. I took advantage of my group work experience from my days at the university. I strongly believe that both the medical knowledge and the communication and interpersonal skills that I developed here helped me immensely during my two years living abroad.

Lessons Learned at the University Prove Valuable in Clinical Settings

Junko YAMADA, BS, Class of 2016

Today, I work in a medical emergency center ward. It is the first place that patients are brought to after they arrive by ambulance, and each day I see patients with various generational backgrounds, personalities, and problems. In order to take care of so many different patients every day, it is vital that I establish a relationship of trust with each patient as quickly as possible. It was after I first entered clinical settings that I learned the Humanitude communication techniques, and I learned that building this relationship of trust is helpful in patients’ recovery.

In one particular case, I was working with a heart failure patient. The patient was very negative in conversations about their medical treatments, and would say things like “shut up” and “don’t touch me.” However, by talking about where they were from, and asking about what foods they liked, the patient gradually warmed up to me in conversation, telling me about their preferences and their feelings about their medical issues, which allowed me to check their body water and urine levels in a way that they were comfortable with. When I entered clinical settings, I found more and more that it is crucial to build relationships of trust. Unless you bear this in mind and create opportunities for communication, you will only have a formal, relatively distant relationship with your patients. To learn to communicate effectively, I feel that it is vital to create opportunities to interact with many other people during your time as a student. For me in particular, joining Futaba, the disaster-related volunteer club, served as a chance to interact with many different people. At Futaba, not only did we get to see the conditions on the ground in areas struck by disasters, but we also had the opportunity to talk with people both young and old — I believe that this taught me firsthand how to talk with people to put them at ease, how to make people smile, and other important interpersonal communication techniques. As a student, you have a lot of freedom in how to spend your time, so it is important to use that time as an investment in yourself as a person.

I’m working to help spread the Humanitude communication techniques in clinical settings— I hope you’ll look into them for yourself!

Life as a Student at the University

Hiroki YAMASHITA, BS, Class of 2020

Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University is a seaside institute focused on a single course of study. Its compact campus makes it the perfect place for a truly focused nursing education.

The majority of the students enrolled here are working to become registered nurses or public health nurses. To that end, students work hard alongside one another, in a challenging environment conducive to practical training and studying through lectures. Due to the large number of compulsory credits each year, students’ schedules are effectively pre-established with a little flexibility, giving school life a feel, to some, like an extension of high school. Some may find the lifestyle a bit more strenuous than what their friends at schools with more flexible scheduling might experience. On the other hand, this also means clearly established goals to be met each year, for more focused studies.

One advantage of Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University is the sense of close connection students feel with one another, and with their instructors. Nearly all students attend the same lectures, and with plenty of group assignments and practical training, students naturally come to feel comfortable together. With roughly eighty students arriving each year, instructors are also able to learn students’ names, so students can look forward to their support and counseling.

The compact campus makes it fast to get around. The campus’s ample parking is located near the campus buildings, making it convenient for students who commute by car. The seaside location offers students a beautiful and peaceful environment for their life on campus.

In addition to their studies, many students enjoy joining on-campus social groups to make their university experience more fun. Student groups run the gamut from sports like softball and basketball, to more cultural pursuits like piano or tea ceremony, from local interaction and international cultural exchange to disaster volunteering efforts. Recently, a group of new students has established a drama club. I was in some sports clubs and one of the local interaction clubs, but I’m sure that they’re all a lot of fun. The clubs aren’t especially strict, so you can join whichever ones you’re interested in, and it’s fine to only come on days when you’re free.

Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University: Perfect for Studying Nursing in a Calm and Relaxing Environment.

Mai MIYATA, BS, Class of 2020

Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University was established in 2000, more than two decades ago. Students spend their days studying to become professional nurses, at this gorgeous campus surrounded with natural beauty.

The school’s focus on a single course of study and relatively small student, ppulation means that the students are that much closer to one another, for a fun and positive student lifestyle. Students also get to feel close to the friendly and enthusiastic teachers, and learn new knowledge and techniques every day.

After starting school in spring, and living on my own for the first time as a college student, I found that the first few months passed in the blink of an eye.

During the first semester of my first year, I had field training as one part of my practical training in nursing. For field training, students select their own themes, and visit locations where people of various health levels live, which helps to broaden our social views and deepen our understandings of people. This practical training helped me realize that we need to always consider things from other points of view, and taught me how crucial it is for nurses to take others’ feelings into account in all of our work.

The teachers also helped me fully understand the extreme importance of understanding the basis of the knowledge and techniques used in nursing specialties. I hope to one day become a professional nurse who always remembers to ask “why is that the case?” and “why do we do things this way?” in my work.

The International Nursing Practicum is a nursing study and training program held in summer in the United States, where students study and train at the University of Washington and other institutions. In addition to helping students learn more about the state of nursing worldwide and develop a better understanding of its background, it also serves to help improve students’ linguistic abilities. I hope to learn about the international medical world, and I would also like the chance to improve my English, so I hope to participate in this program.

As for extracurricular activities, there are plenty of social clubs, with a great variety. Many students belong to these clubs, and they can help make student life even more fulfilling.

After graduating from Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University, we have many options available to us, from working as registered nurses or public health nurses to continuing our studies. Each of us is working toward accomplishing our own goals.