I traveled to Hangzhou, China to attend the National Training Course on Tuberculosis Infection Control on behalf of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). The inter-professional training was sponsored by the World Medical Association in partnership with the ICN, International Hospital Federation and the International Federation of the Red Cross and participants included hospital directors, physicians, nurses and lab personnel from all over the country.
It was a great opportunity to meet up with old friends and colleagues and make new friends. A former Hopkins SON – Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) doctoral student (2008) also attended the course and it is always wonderful to work together with her and further strengthen the SON/PUMC ties.
The group took a field trip to a major hospital in the city with a TB ward to evaluate the infection control practices and patient flow. I always find it interesting to see how hospitals in different places are set up and to talk to the nurses about their jobs and working conditions. Later the group discussed what we saw and recommendations for potential changes that could be made to improve infection control and patient flow to minimize the risk of transmission to other patients and healthcare workers.
I enjoyed speaking with the nurses who attended the meeting and even saw one of my students from a training I did in Beijing last fall. It was a great opportunity to promote nursing and the role of nurses in infection control. I look forward to returning to China later this year to train another group of nurses on TB including infection control.
There was a little time to get out and explore Hangzhou. It’s been nearly 20 years since I visited Hangzhou, China as a student and I was happy to have a chance to go back and see the beautiful West Lake again. As with the rest of China, so much has changed, but the West Lake was as beautiful as I remembered.