When Madeline Nastaly decided to travel over 11,000km to the east African country of Tanzania to experience foreign healthcare, she never imagined the impact her journey would have.
Fourth-year nursing student Madeline Nastaly travelled to Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, in the summer to undertake a practical nursing placement in one of the city’s busiest hospitals. With a strong interest in foreign healthcare and a love of travelling, working abroad was always on Madeline’s to-do list.
“Working in healthcare overseas and specifically in a developing country has always been a real interest of mine. I knew it would be an eye-opening experience. Not to mention a great learning opportunity. It’s extremely different from anything you can experience domestically.”
Teaming up with Work the World, Madeline had access to some of the best medical facilities and teaching practices in Dar es Salaam.
“I wanted to be able to get a much broader nursing experience, so being able to rotate my time between the paediatrics, orthopaedic trauma surgery the emergency departments was the perfect solution. I also got to spend a lot of my time in their resuscitation bays where the duties ranged from wound care, medication administration, airway management, manual ventilation and CPR.
It was always busy, under-resourced and treating conditions I had never seen before was very common. You learn very quickly how to assess patients much more efficiently and overcome the language barrier.”
I can’t imagine how I would have organised an experience like this without Work the World.”
Madeline’s clinical skills were challenged even further when she spent the week working alongside rural doctors in a local clinic nestled at the foot of the Viduna Mountains.
“Living and working in the rural village was a real highlight of my experience. The village was staggeringly beautiful, the people were so friendly and welcoming and the chance to work alongside doctors in their local clinic was such an invaluable experience.
Unique to Work the World, Village Healthcare Experiences offer the chance to gain an understanding of what life is like to live and work in a remote African village.
“In the mornings, in clinic my duties would vary each day, from vaccination duties, child physical assessments and assessing patients with HIV. I had a lot of patient interaction with traditional Maasai women and their babies. In the afternoons, I would take part in activities like meeting the village elders, cycling to local sugar plantations and swimming in waterfalls. I can’t imagine how I would have organised an experience like this without Work the World.”
It’s not hard to see that while an experience like this presents challenges, there is much to be gained.
“An experience like this changes you. It changes the way you see yourself, it changes the way you see healthcare and it especially changes you as a nurse. As challenging as it can be, I am now able to adapt as a nurse to my environment and essentially, provide better care for my patients. I was so humbled by the experience.”
Being based in Dar es Salaam also promised real adventure for Madeline. Like many other students before her, she took full opportunity of being located only a short trip from Zanzibar and its paradise beaches as well as some of Africa’s most beautiful savannah and big game safaris.
“Travelling through Africa after my elective finished up was just the icing on the cake. It’s astoundingly beautiful and such an amazing place. Everyone must experience it. Just go, you won’t regret it!”
If you are seeking adventure, a new perspective on healthcare, or an authentic cultural experience, get in contact with the Work the World team today by sending an enquiry at the bottom of this page.