I thought travelling with Work the World would be a good experience to visit different a country with a different culture and health situation. Everything was laid out very well on the website and I received prompt replies to any of my questions.
I arrived at the airport in the middle of the day. I was a bit nervous about being in a completely foreign and new place, but Uma was easy to spot. She was there waiting for me waving her hand, but there were some other men trying to get money from me for carrying my bags for two minutes. Uma had it all sorted out in no time and rescued me from the chaotic airport. Orientation was very reassuring, Uma familiarised us with the city, got our money exchanged, helped us to get a local SIM card and showed us the temples. Sean and Uma were always there when needed. Krishna and Laxmi prepared us a great variety of food and Manita worked hard to keep our rooms clean, any problem was solved instantly. The house has been great and very comfortable. It is nice to have other students in the house, making new friends and going on weekend adventures was a real highlight.
THE THING I ENJOYED THE MOST ABOUT MY PLACEMENT WAS OBSERVING A SKIN GRAFT SURGERY ON A YOUNG BOY WHO WAS 30% BURNT."
I was placed in the local hospital, which was only a short walking distance from my home away from home. During my placement, I spent two weeks in general surgery and my last week in oncology. There are many similarities regarding the examination process, however, hygiene standards and infection control measures were noticeably different and not to a high standard. In Australia, as nurses we are heavily involved in a patient’s care. Over here in Nepal, families tend to stay around and care for their children themselves.
I saw many children in pain and suffering, caused mainly by tropical disease, and felt impassioned and a desire to care and cure.
The thing I enjoyed the most about my placement was observing a skin graft surgery on a young boy who was 30% burnt. The hospital staff were very friendly however it was quite difficult to communicate with some of them, as their English was slightly limited. Eager to help us learn, the doctors took the time to explain each of the cases. This was much appreciated otherwise it might have been difficult to understand what was going on.
During the weekends, I banded together with other students at the house and we travelled to the beautiful city of Pokhara. While there we went paragliding, enjoying breathtaking views of the amazing scenery. We hiked to the amazing Peace Pagoda and went white water rafting on the Trishuli River. The water was cold, but it didn’t stop us having a lot of fun. There are plenty of things to do in Kathmandu and Thamel is an awesome place to hang around in the evening.
My advice for future students is to be ready to accept what you see during your placement. Take the time to understand situations. There will definitely be a language barrier so do not hesitate to ask questions. Whilst a large part of your placement may be observational, you will get to learn more than you hoped. If you are happy to watch and compare the differences in the healthcare system while using an opportunity to see another country, then go for it.