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You Onn - South Korea - Flinders University

As a nurse, You Onn is on the frontline, fighting Australia’s COVID-19 pandemic. Coming from her home of South Korea, You Oon studied a Bachelor of Nursing at Flinders University in Adelaide as a graduate entry international student. This is her #InThisTogether story.

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#InThisTogether with You Oon

On the frontline

I am a registered nurse working on the front line to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and I have had to adapt my working practices out of necessity. Nurses need to complete up-to-date, mandatory, COVID-19 education so that we can provide the most recent and rigorous care to our patients. We always practice good hand hygiene and we do not wear our uniform out of the workplace in case it is carrying the virus.

I found that some of my colleagues who have kids have difficulty managing their rosters due to schools being shut-down. But other nurses who are single or have someone to take care of kids are always willing to help each other to overcome this pandemic period.

I am working more hours than I have been rostered to do due to issues with short staffing, while making sure I stay updated on any new information that is released about COVID-19.

It is inevitable that we will have face-to-face contact with families, colleagues and managers every day because of this ever-changing situation and policies, so I sometimes feel exhausted and overwhelmed. I cannot overcome these feelings 100 percent of the time, but I always try to understand that people are feeling frustrated and anxious due to COVID-19. In these cases, I seek advice from seniors and make sure I get enough sleep to restore my energy.

Shopping local and getting crafty

One way that I try to contribute to the community is by using local shops when I go shopping, as well as when I'm buying products or food online. For instance, whenever I want to eat delivery food, I try to call the restaurant to check if the delivery/pick-up service is available rather than using delivery apps.

During COVID-19, I have also been making home-made alcohol-based hand gel/soap to share with my flat mates and friends.

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Advice for fellow internationals

My best advice is to keep in touch with your family back home as much as possible. I totally understand why international students feel anxious, distressed, depressed and discouraged because you might have lost your part-time jobs due to COVID-19. Please keep in touch with your family and friends for your emotional support. And if you can find any volunteer opportunities - especially those related to your studies and future career – apply for them and keep yourself as social as you can.

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