The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Medical University of Bahrain (RCSI Bahrain) has announced details of a new global university partnership involving its School of Nursing and Midwifery. This partnership is part of the University’s strategic aim to prepare its graduates to become global healthcare professionals.
In October 2022, RCSI Bahrain hosted Professor Julie Green, Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, Keele University, United Kingdom, for a new partnership launch under the Patronage of Her Excellency Dr Shaikha Rana Bint Isa Bin Duaij Al Khalifa, Secretary General of the Higher Education Council and Deputy Chairperson of the Higher Education Council Board of Trustees in Bahrain, in the presence of His Excellency Mr Roderick Drummond, British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain and Dr Jamila Jassim Mukhaimer, President of Bahrain Nursing Society.
Professor Rebecca Jester, Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, RCSI Bahrain, stated: “To advance healthcare in Bahrain and beyond, it is critical that nursing students experience a diversity of interactions with patients, interprofessional relations and healthcare environments. Nurses play a vital role in the delivery of primary and community care, and their understanding of patient care in an international context is key to evolving current practices.”
Thanks to the partnership between Keele University and RCSI Bahrain, a nursing student exchange programme has been launched where nursing students from both universities will visit one another’s campuses to participate in learning and teaching activities and attend clinical observerships in local healthcare facilities. The aim of the programme is to provide nursing students with the opportunity to gain insights into nursing education and the healthcare system in a foreign country, enrich their education experience by immersing them in a diverse healthcare environment and support them in becoming well-rounded and competitive nurses who are ready to work in an international and diverse context.
Ms Sana AlHaj, RCSI Bahrain nursing Year 4 student, who participated in the exchange with Keele university shared her insight: “In the UK, I noticed that nurses are more specialised in the care they provide, and they play a bigger role as part of the multidisciplinary team. Doctors rely on the nurse practitioners for their expertise and opinions. Now I appreciate the importance of interprofessional relations as a mutually beneficial collaboration.”
Professor Sameer Otoom, President of RCSI Bahrain, noted: “Healthcare practice requires a lifelong commitment to learning. Whether through research, endeavour or various educational programmes, we support lifelong healthcare education and training. Our deep professional responsibility to fulfill society’s greatest need – the advancement of its health and wellbeing – is embedded in all that we do.”
RCSI Bahrain, is constantly seeking to nurture and expand its international collaborations. With the support of its new and existing partners, the University provides its students and staff with a truly international experience, and over the years it has built a community of global professional colleagues and communities of interest.
In 2022, through existing partnerships, a group of 74 students from the School of Medicine at RCSI Bahrain participated in global electives and observerships in Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, India, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, UK and USA where they experienced various medical specialties in different regional or global settings and met staff members from some of the most prestigious healthcare institutions worldwide.
Dr Tharmegan Tharmaratnam (RCSI Bahrain Medicine Class of 2021), currently a family medicine resident in the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, shared his experience: “My university experience played a pivotal role in my professional and personal growth. RCSI Bahrain helped me develop an international outlook that values diversity and strong communication skills through numerous clinical experiences with diverse patient populations. While healthcare systems may differ across geographic boundaries, I gained the knowledge and skills to adapt to the healthcare setting and patient populations I care for, to best meet their needs and provide optimal patient care”.
The University’s international outlook equips students with the skills and confidence to meet the challenge of delivering healthcare in a complex global environment.