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New Colombo Plan: how to get ahead of the pack

A New Colombo Plan mobility grant has helped Paramedical Science student Tyler Cardy gain practical experience working in an Indonesian hospital.

The placement allowed the Edith Cowan University student to embed cross-cultural communication skills while absorbing new clinical knowledge in a busy hospital environment.

Thanks to his New Colombo Plan experience, Tyler was well-equipped to transition into work after graduating.

"The opportunity gave me skills as a graduate that I wouldn't otherwise have been able to develop. There were also medical conditions that I wasn't familiar with and wasn't expecting to see, like Dengue Fever and Dengue Shock. It was a great experience to learn about these."

Another key skill for newly graduated paramedics is understanding and communicating with patients from other cultures and language backgrounds. Tyler says the abilities he developed surmounting the language barrier in Indonesia were important for increasing his employability.

"While it was challenging, I was able to communicate with patients through other means, such as visually or through body language. I absolutely feel that this increased my communication skills and gave me the opportunity to 'think outside the box' when interacting with patients who do not speak English as a first language. There were also social etiquettes which we had to always bear in mind when dealing with patients and other staff. This allowed me to have a more culturally aware approach to patient communication."

Some of the less tangible knowledge Tyler picked up was just as useful, including the importance of building a professional network.

I worked with some amazing people and made connections that are still strong. I had the opportunity to engage with a great group of caring and considerate staff and to meet some amazing patients who stick in my mind. I feel like the relationships I've built will last a lifetime and I have no doubt they will come in handy throughout my career. "

Tyler's new skills helped him land his current job in London, but he says "eventually my plan is to get back to Indonesia and do some work in the community".

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Tyler Cardy at the RSUP Sanglah (hospital) in Denpasar, Indonesia
Tyler Cardy at the RSUP Sanglah (hospital) in Denpasar, Indonesia
Last Updated: 14 June 2016
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