University of Birmingham 2018

Physiotherapy, Nepal Kathmandu

Cave, EllyI was delighted when my university offered me the opportunity to complete a placement abroad.

I was keen to travel after my studies, and this just brought things forward.

I had heard great things about Work the World. After a bit of research it was clear they were the organisation to go with.

My Uncle had previously worked as a doctor in Nepal. He told endless stories about its vibrant capital city, and the kindness of the people who lived there.

I quickly decided on Kathmandu.

I wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone. Experiencing the healthcare system of an economically disadvantaged country was important to me too.

Cave, Elly

The support the Work the World team offered in the lead up to my departure was exceptional.

I had lots of preparatory phone calls, and they offered incredible insight on what to expect.

I was (inevitably) nervous. I had never travelled as far as Nepal on my own before.

But I was excited for the adventure ahead.

Cave, Elly

Little did I know just how eye-opening my experience was going to be.

A member of the Work the World team met me at the airport. We travelled together to the Work the World house in the heart of Kathmandu.

I spent my first couple of days meeting the house team and my housemates. We also went out on a city orientation, which helped me to adapt to the new culture and environment.

My housemates had such a positive influence on my stay in Nepal. They came from all corners of the world, and from every area of healthcare imaginable.

Cave, Elly

Getting to know everyone was fascinating.

I spent four weeks at the Tribhuvan Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu.

I was in the outpatient clinic, and shadowed physios working on the orthopaedic inpatient ward.

The difference in facilities compared to the UK was immediately apparent.


There was broken and outdated equipment, and makeshift wheelchairs and traction devices.

On the other hand, the knowledge of the professionals was impressive. They always made do with what they had, ensuring the best possible treatment for each patient.

Sharing and comparing physiotherapy practises was what I loved most about working with the local physio team.

I gained insight into equipment and pathologies I had never seen before.

Cave, Elly

It was a great learning experience for both parties.

This was particularly beneficial for one young patient with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Working with local physios we brought our knowledge and skills together and devised a detailed treatment plan.

Cave, EllySeeing this patient almost every day of my placement, we developed a strong relationship. I’m actually still in contact with them today!

After some pretty full-on days on placement, it was lovely to have such a supportive and friendly environment to come home to.

Over delicious dinners, me and my housemates discussed our days and the interesting cases we’d seen.

During weekends and some afternoons, I saw the sights of Kathmandu, really immersing myself in local culture.

I also travelled to Pokhara, another, more rural city in Nepal.

Cave, Elly

This was a highlight of my trip. We had beautiful sunset dinners by the lake, my first ever paraglide, and a sunrise trek to see the snowy peaks of the Himalayas.

I will never forget my experience in Nepal.

I met some incredible people, and the hospital experience gave me a new appreciation of the healthcare we have in the UK.

Huge thanks to Work the World for an awesome trip.

My elective wouldn’t have been the same without your support and organisation.

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