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For the second year, Life Care Center of South Hill in Puyallup, Washington, partnered with Pierce College in Puyallup to host nursing students from Japan through the college’s international program.


On Oct. 2, 2017, about 40 students, program leaders and interpreters spent the morning learning about skilled nursing and rehabilitation in an American post-acute care setting. The Osaka Medical Nursing School students are in the midst of their clinical training in Japan, having completed one rotation in a skilled nursing facility.


“They were very interested in the differences in how we provide care,” said Heidi Hebert, director of nursing at Life Care Center of South Hill. “They were also interested in the different levels of nursing education we have. They asked questions about restraints, alarms, dementia, caring for bariatric patients and therapy/rehab.”


Students were introduced to staff in various positions and were very surprised that the administrator was not also a doctor. In Japan, in a skilled nursing facility, the doctor is also in charge of operations – everything at the facility is his or her responsibility.


Life Care Center of South Hill is a clinical rotation site for the nursing school at Pierce College, so this annual visit is an extension of that partnership. When the students visit, they also perform a short song and dance for the facility patients, which is a big hit.

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