The Western Sydney University Launched A Hijab For Nursing Students

ISL4M.COM, TANJUNG ENIM - The University of Western Sydney, Australia, launched the university logo hijab for Muslim students in the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery. This policy is the first in Australia.

The university stated that many nursing and midwifery students had dropped out of college in recent years, before reaching their bachelor's degree.

After consulting with the Muslim community, the university found that Muslim students experienced more severe obstacles in handling patients.

Simple rules such as "arms at the bottom of the elbows must be free of clothing" from the Ministry of Health, for example, have become an obstacle for some Muslim students who will undergo clinical practice.

It was said, there were also some Muslim female students who claimed to experience cultural constraints when they had to treat patients of the opposite sex.

"About the past decade, we have received an increase in the number of Muslim students in nursing and midwifery," Rakime Elmir, lecturer in nursing and midwifery, said as quoted by SBS News.

As a follow-up to the consultation with Muslim community leaders and students, the University's Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery also took various policies.

One of them, launched a hijab with a university logo as a uniform for Muslim students.

"Many students want to wear skirts, not trousers, because in Islamic beliefs it is important to wear polite clothes," he said.

"Another concern is that students don't want to roll up their sleeves in clinical practice units at the University and also during clinical placements," explained Dr. Elmir.

"Another problem is when you have to treat the opposite sex. We need to overcome that, "he said.

He revealed that there had been a case of a student who left a male patient in the bathroom and refused to take care of him and the patient fainted.

Dr. Elmir who is also a Muslimah said the key is to involve community leaders to determine in this context what is actually prohibited according to Islamic teachings.

"There is a misunderstanding and we really want to present clear information for students with sensitivity," he said.

"We need community leaders who support this information and assert that nursing practice is actually a good thing in Islam," Dr. Elmir said.

Director of Academic (Clinical) Program Sue Willis said the university's policy was intended to overcome the large gap in the availability of midwives and Muslim nurses.

According to University of Western Sydney Chancellor Barney Glover AO, this university is one of the higher education institutions with cultural diversity in Australia.

"We are proud to be the first university in Australia to introduce this. This reflects our commitment to promote diversity, equality and inclusiveness, "he said.

Dr Elmir said there was still a need for clarity in the policies set by the Health Department of New South Wales.

In various NSW hospitals, the hijab is not part of the official uniform even though registered nurses can wear it according to their own taste as long as the color of the clothes matches the existing uniform.

Dr. Elmir stated the need for increased religious and cultural sensitivity in this field.

"Some of our students still experience negative experiences on their clinical placements. There are a number of facilities that require them to pull their sleeves up to the elbows when they enter there, "he said.

He added that the challenges ahead were still very large for midwives and Muslim nurses in undergoing clinical practice.
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