Yes, I can imagine the language barriers are even more difficult to overcome - I wouldn't like to wind up in a hospital in a country like Thailand, where the language is so very different from English.
Mind you, my students tell me some stories about the treatment foreign patients receive here...
...good thing I know Spanish! And even then...
One of my problems is that our students need British English - for example, just the other day on the UK part of this site, I found out that the abbreviation BM does not stand for "bowel movement" in Br E, but blood glucose monitor!:imbar I advise my students to avoid abbreviations with patients anyway - just goes to show.
My students' level of English isn't up to understanding a newspaper, or the material from the "Language of Medicine", and they simply aren't very interested in current events, so we've prepared our own materials, mainly focused on Medical topics (body, hospital, nursing procedures...) - along with anecdotes found on this forum and on the Internet. I've even adapted some video clips from the NCLEX-RN material to use in class. (It's hard to measure the outcomes though, all they want is to pass - not necessarily to learn English!) I just wish I knew more about specific language a nurse would need when treating a patient, never having done so myself!
Have you continued to work as a nurse? I saw that you were running a school for Conversational English, so have you left nursing then?
Anyway, good luck to you out there in Asia... and hope you can come to Tenerife again some day!