Not every day a college student from Hong Kong stops by your clinic and spends an entire day with your staff. Here at Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Clinic, we had two students who did just that. Stephen Kwok and Joyce Wong attend The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, pursuing a master’s degree in Science in Nursing.

They were on a five day trip to the United States for a school project. Each day was spent at a different location, and the VIM Clinic was one. The focus of this project was to see how nurse practitioners work in the United States.

“It’s to see if we can have some exchange and learn something,” said Kwok.

Kwok is currently a registered nurse (RN) in the pediatric unit at a hospital in Hong Kong. When he’s finished with graduate school, Kwok will pursue his PhD.

“Research in health care is important and generating some quality applicants, which will help health care professionals make good decisions,” said Kwok.

He enjoys caring for the children in the hospital. Kwok describes the feeling as very warm and welcoming. “You have some interaction with them and when you receive compliments from parents, it feels so great. It makes you feel successful,” said Kwok.

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Joyce Wong and Alan Eddison, DNP ARNP, reviewing labs.

Joyce Wong is an RN at Princess Margaret Hospital, but she describes her experience as challenging. Working with people who have life-threatening illnesses including massive trauma, respiratory distress syndrome among others. Through it all, she still looks to advance her skills as a nurse.

Wong chose the United States for her project because she admires the health care. “United States is a very wealthy country. The health care is unique and I want to learn more about it,” said Wong.

She loved her involvement at the VIM Clinic and likes the idea of providing free health care for the uninsured. “It’s very meaningful to help the indigent who can’t get access to proper health care,” said Wong.

Wong and Kwok enjoyed the United States and their experience at the VIM Clinic. They will include everything they’ve learned in their project.

The VIM Clinic provides health services for uninsured Martin County residents. Patients don’t have Medicaid and must have a household income below 200 percent of the poverty level.