My brother and I made a promise to each other that we would one day visit Nepal together. When he passed away, I decided to travel there in his honor.
Leading up to my trip, the Work the World staff made sure I was comfortable with the details of my placement. I knew I was in good hands from the start.
Upon arrival at the Work the World house in Pokhara, the local staff team gave me a very warm welcome, placing a pashmina scarf around my neck. I knew immediately that Nepal was going to be a very special place.
There were other students in the house who’d been there for a few weeks already. They were incredibly helpful and made me feel right at home.
On my first full day, the team took me on a tour of the city to get a feel for what life in Pokhara would be like. I’ll never forget the delicious sel roti (a Nepali sweet) and curry we ate in a little café at the end of our tour!
I felt nervous when the time came for my first shift in the hospital. But after the Work the World team took me through the orientation and introduced me to the other hospital staff and administrators, I felt comfortable.
My first shift on the Maternity Unit was eye-opening. It was amazing to see the differences between healthcare practices in Nepal versus the United States.
The nurses and doctors I spent time with taught me about their cultural beliefs and how they can influence labor and delivery. For example, it’s common for Nepali families to bring a homemade soup for the mother to eat immediately after their baby is born.
I had plenty of opportunities to be with mothers during labor, to care for the newborn babies after delivery, and to feed and hold babies who were sent to the NICU. I had many life-changing experiences, but the one that will stay with me forever was when I helped a new mother nurse her baby by showing her different ways to hold him.
She was so thankful for the help, and I will never forget the look on her face as she held her first-born in her arms.
Another interesting part of my trip was a visit to the largest leprosy and rehabilitation hospital in Western Nepal. My fellow Work the World interns and I went on a tour of the hospital and learned about the care and treatment given to this specific patient population.
Outside of the clinical experience, I devoted plenty of time to exploring Nepal. One of my favorite activities was a sunrise hike and an outdoor yoga class in Sarangkot. We had breathtaking views of the Himalayas, followed by paragliding over Phewa Lake.
Work the World helped me make memories that will stay with me forever. Family, friends, professors, and employers are always intrigued to learn more about my experience overseas.
The time I spent in Nepal continues to impact my life today, and I plan to use the skills I acquired from the experience to care for patients in my career as a registered nurse on a maternity unit.