Rylie Dunn | Wonderful moments at Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Hospital

Posted by SE Vietnam - Student Exchange Vietnam

We, ABROADER strongly believe that the internships and programs for our foreign students in Vietnam can exert constructive influence on the local Vietnamese community. Thus, we can’t wait to share Rylie Dunn’s medical internship in Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Hospital in Ho Chi Minh city this summer. Let’s see what she’s contributed to the local community with her great  works!


Around 1970-1980s, polio was breaking out tremendously in Vietnam. This disease has imposed severe sequelaes on patient’s life, and some people are likely to suffer from disability. With the hope of easing the pain of children with polio, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs in association with Terre Des Homme of Germany selected a land lot at 1A Ly Thuong Kiet, District 7 and built Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Hospital in Ho Chi Minh city. 

The primary mission of this hospital is to conduct medical examination, diagnosis, treatment, orthopedic surgery, trauma surgery and rehabilitation for people who have served the country and received social policy beneficiaries. Besides, unfortunate ones suffering disabilities, labor accidents, and other diseases are also taken care of by professional doctors and nurses here. Summer of 2019, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Hospital was glad to have Rylie Dunn – a medical intern being a part of our staff for 7 weeks

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Rylie and other interns 


#Language barrier

Communication is essential in everyday life to deliver your message to the ones in verbal exchange with you. It can be hard for a newcomer when reaching an exotic place where people communicate in an unfamiliar language, and Rylie confessed that she was not the exception. 

There were various difficulties that she ran into throughout the duration of the internship. One of which being communication and the language barrier. To overcome this difficulty, she ultimately had to attempt various unique ways to communicate. Using context clues and learning relevant Vietnamese phrases such as numbers and body parts has facilitated her internship a great deal to talk to her colleagues as well as assist the patients in Rehabilitation Department. 

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#Familiarize with the tasks

There is a lot to get to know how different rooms operate to fulfill the job. As a quick learner, Rylie has performed multiple tasks from cleaning the occupational therapy room, connecting patients to various machines including back and neck traction, heat and stipulation therapy. Thanks to the constant exposure to a wide variety of patients, it dawned on Rylie that there are certain differences in healthcare, therapy and rehab between Vietnam and her hometown so that she can improve her skills and adopt new ones. 



Time went by and Rylie gradually grasp the practice of stretching patients’ hands and arms, especially working with children patients on gaining mobility in coordination movements. 

One of the biggest eye-opening moments during Rylie’s internship was seeing this young girl improve greatly. She came into the occupational therapy room everyday and would work on exercises and push herself because she wanted to improve the mobility in her right hand. From the first day Rylie saw her and worked with her until the end of her time at the hospital, Rylie has seen major improvements.The young girl was able to draw, complete origami, and write in English on paper.  Also, her mom was with her everyday and would help and encourage her with each exercise which Rylie found to be amazing. In the end, what she did truly made a big difference to patients.

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When being asked about what she remembers most about ABROADER’s program, Rylie excitingly shares: 

I enjoyed my time and the program greatly in Vietnam. It seemed as if the program tried its best to guide all interns in the right direction and was helpful when needed. The thing I will remember most about the internship will be the people I met, specifically the other interns and the patients I worked with. The various interns I met throughout the hospital taught me how to think in a different mindset in order to problem solve and treat a patient. As for the patients, they taught me their culture, and to always shave a positive attitude and outlook on things. Each of the patients had suffered an accident that had affected their capability to live their lives, and yet each patient had such a positive attitude.


Looking back at the journey with Rylie Dunn, we – ABROADER and the staff of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Hospital are very grateful to working with her. Her contribution for the local residents has, surely, brought significant changes to each patient. Most importantly, her time in Vietnam, as Rylie reflects, has inspired her to enroll for another internship like this or devote her time to help more people in need at a hospital or clinic around the world.  And, for sure, We- ABROADER wholeheartedly support and root for her growth and career path in the future!

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