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IHP hosts contingent from Japan

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The Institute for Health Professionals served as hosts for a health contingent from Japan. The program has been working on healthcare interpreter training and standards with scholars from Japan since 2006.

The University of Fukui School’s nursing director and faculty visited the Institute for Health Professionals program in late February and early March at the Central Portland Workforce Training Center. The contingent learned more about the nursing and interpreting programs IHP provides.

“These programs are of great interest to them as Japan will too be experiencing a significant healthcare worker shortage in the near future where they hope to draw workers from other countries as one of their options,” said Maria Michalczyk, IHP education coordinator.

IHP also hosted faculty from Aichi Prefectural University who got to see PCC’s Healthcare Interpreter Training program and learned about healthcare interpreting at-large.

“These visits went really well; incredible,” said Michalczyk. “We went to OHSU and to PCC’s nursing program where we met with faculty and director Claudia Michel.

We went to dinner that included the Japanese Consul General. On Monday they met with our department and the nursing leaders. They were able to meet people from Oregon to talk about steps they have made to reduce nursing shortages.

“They were very interested in continuing education for nurses,” she added. “With our interpreter program they might send nurses to IHP to go through the program to learn English and cultural competency. There was a lot of good information shared both ways.”

And Michalczyk is perfect to host these delegations. She was named the honorary chair for the Japanese-English Interpreter Association in Japan in 2006. In response to an invitation, Michalczyk provided healthcare interpreter training to various groups of healthcare professionals in Japan last August.

In December, she returned to Japan by the request of the University of Fukui’s School of Nursing to address interpreting standards and protocol to both faculty and more than 150 students. Michalczyk also provided insight into IHP’s nurse re-entry program and nursing continuing education offerings.

“What’s happened is that if you look at world at-large it’s becoming more global,” she said. “It means we need to share. It’s extremely important as the aging population grows worldwide we have to figure how our aging population will be taken care of. We all have to put our thinking caps on.”

On the horizon, IHP has plenty going. Plans for February 2009 include a Japanese English terminology class for nursing instructors in Japan where instructors here will teach via distance learning to nursing colleagues in Japan.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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