Read this article. I like the idea. Physicians have been using this type of exchange learning for years. I appreciate the comments about socialized medicine. I am certainly not a big fan. I believe we need a system with affordable healthcare for all but most models studied have many discrepencies.Nurses learn on trip to Germany
By Keith Uhlig
For the News-Herald
WAUSAU Northcentral Technical College nursing student Linda Pempek hopes someday to be a psychiatric nurse so when she toured the German hospital where scientists discovered Alzheimers disease, she was excited.
It was just fantastic, just to be there, (among) the history. The building is a memorial, said Pempek, 38, of Athens. The original documents were displayed on the wall. It was just overwhelming. I still get goose bumps talking about it.
Pempek was among 10 nursing students from NTC and a University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh program who traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, last month to learn about the health care system there. The area program is based at the University of Wisconsin-MarathonCounty campus inWausau.
In October, German nursing students will come to the Wausau area to learn about health care and its system of delivery in this country.
NTC and UW-Oshkosh school officials say the new program is important because it exposes nursing students to a different medical framework. And it creates a solid foundation of collaboration between the two schools, they say.
The program was open to NTC students who are working toward associate degrees in nursing and to registered nurses who are earning a bachelors degree in nursing from UW-Oshkosh.
The idea for the exchange program came from Diane Ernst, director of the UW-Oshkosh Outreach Program based at UWMC.
She and Jean Flood, team leader for nursing programs at NTC, began the planning process last year.
The two traveled to Frankfurt, where they found the Goethe University Hospital School of Nursing.
Officials at Goethe University were open to an exchange program.
Participants in the two-week study program earned three credits good for both the Northcentral and UW-Oshkosh program.
The students stayed with host families during their time in Germany and learned the different roles of German nurses.
Pempek said she got a glimpse into socialized medicine, which she found to be a very inefficient way to deliver general health care.
We really should be grateful for our health care system, she said.
Sherry Kleinschmidt, 46, is studying for her bachelors degree while she works at Community Health Care Wausau Hospital as director of the Medical Adolescent Pediatric Department. She also found the exchange experience valuable.
What I learned is that nurses in America are able to operate much more independently, she said.
Nursing is viewed as a more respected profession in America, Kleinschmidt concluded.
Jul 7, '01
"Pempek said she got a glimpse into socialized medicine, which she found to be a very inefficient way to deliver general health care. We really should be grateful for our health care system, she said."
I agree that learning about other health care systems in the world not only expands our knowledge and understanding of them; it also helps us discover new perspectives on how to improve upon our own. Health care systems in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries primarily reflect three types of programs:
1) In a single-payer national health insurance system, as demonstrated by Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, health insurance is publicly administered and most physicians are in private practice.
2) Great Britain and Spain are among the OECD countries with national health services, in which salaried physicians predominate and hospitals are publicly owned and operated.
3) Highly regulated, universal, multi-payer health insurance systems are illustrated by countries like Germany and France, which have universal health insurance via sickness funds. The sickness funds pay physicians and hospitals uniform rates that are negotiated annually (also known as an "all-payer" system).
It's important to know what you are talking about when you throw out the term "socialized medicine" and "universal healthcare" Most advocates for Universal health care in the U.S. are for a single-payer national health insurance system. I would like to point out that Germany has one of the oldest health care systems in the world and looks much different from, lets say, Canada's. I am sure that the 44 million uninsured Americans are not "grateful" for our present health care system. And why do we have 41 million Americans without health-care coverage? Because they are not big campaign contributors, and those who profit from the present system are.
I am not only a "fan" of Universal coverage for all Americans, but it is my life's work. I guess that makes me a "fanatic" Oh, Geez!
Last edit by fiestynurse on Jul 21, '01
Jul 8, '01
Thanks for the support!! I would also like to comment on the "excellence" of our health care. Sometimes people are fooled by the technology and amount of money that we pour into our system. (An MRI machine on every corner - is just poor allocation of resources and wasteful) The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. as 37th among nations in the world for the overall quality of health care a country provides its people. Here are some interesting statistics to ponder:
Life expectancy for Women, 1997 (source: OECD, 1999 & NCHS)
U.S. = 79.4
U.K. = 79.5
Germany = 80.3
Italy = 81.3
Canada = 81.4
Sweden = 81.8
France = 82.3
Life expectancy for Men, 1997 (same source)
U.S. = 73.6
Germany = 74.1
U.K. = 74.3
France = 74.6
Italy = 74.9
Canada = 75.7
Sweden = 76.7
Infant Mortality, 1997 (same source)
Deaths in 1st year of life/1000 births
U.S. = 7.2
Canada = 6
Italy = 5.8
Australia = 5.3
Germany = 4.8
France = 4.8
Sweden = 4
Atleast in Germany you live a little longer and your children have a much better chance of surviving the first year of life!
Last edit by fiestynurse on Jul 8, '01