Seven weeks in Maryport, England
by Katharina Kuckeland
During my training as a nurse I had the opportunity to go abroad to another hospital. ERASMUS+ sent me to a lovely place called Maryport, a small town in Cumbria, a hilly area in the North of England.
I had the chance to see medical care from a different angle and compare it to the German system I already know. Because it was a different way of working, it was not that easy to integrate what I had learned to do in Germany. The discussions with English people and students helped me to review my own actions, though. It showed what my strengths and weaknesses are. I was able to see my work differently and think about it in new ways. This helped me to enhance my nursing skills.
The English language was a challenge, but it was easy to deal with it because the English people I met were all polite, nice and funny. I enjoyed my time very much and already miss the mountains, people and work. Back in Germany I will try to integrate what I have learned and work on my weaknesses. Every time I am abroad it helps me to improve. It is very different from a holiday, working a real job with duties and tasks.
I lived a normal life in Maryport and so I became connected to the local community very quickly. This was good for my understanding of the language, and own reflection. From the very first day I became involved in the local social life and the job itself.
My Erasmus Exchange in Cumbria
By Frauke Hofhus
Cockermouth is a small town in the Western Lake District. The hospital has one ward with 11 beds. In the hospital there were Staff Nurses, Healthcare Assistants and Assistant Practitioners. Upstairs in the hospital you will find a Pharmacy, District Nurses and Doctors.
The Nurses and Healthcare assistants work 13- hour shifts, with some of them working ‘Early’ shifts, and some ‘Late’.
The Lake District is really beautiful and is perfect for hiking. If you get a good sunny day you will have wonderful views and can see all the way to Scotland.
You can also take a bus to a big town nearby to go shopping or sightseeing.
A Review of my Participation in the Erasmus+ Program
by Laura L.
As a part of the Erasmus+ program a schoolmate and I had the opportunity to spend five weeks in a hospital in the north of England – in the Cockermouth Community Hospital & Health Centre.
With only eleven beds, the hospital was not part of the acute medical care system, but rather a kind of transitional care. During the stay, the patient’s need for care is evaluated and organised. All this happens in collaboration with other professional groups as well as the patient’s relatives or carer.
From day one, the whole staff was really nice and – it has to be said – I have never felt more welcome on a ward. But, unfortunately, the nurses did not involve us in their work so it was not possible to gain a real insight in the whole care process. Thus, in my opinion, the actual objective of making statements about English care and being able to compare it to the German was not possible, or at least not to the extent that it could have been.
Linguistically I have definitely learned a lot during these last five weeks and I have enjoyed spending my spare time discovering the Lake District.
A Report About My Time In Cumbria, England
By Judith Ernst
My time abroad is nearly over now and I can’t believe how much I feel at home here in England, even after such a short time. During these last seven weeks I have lived in a small town called Maryport, which is in Cumbria, in the North of England. I’ve been working at the Victoria Cottage Hospital, which is very small and has just one ward for rehabilitation and palliative care.
Many things here were new to me, because I am training to be a Paediatric nurse and I hadn’t worked much with older patients. Having to speak English – especially with older people who like to mumble – was quite challenging. When I finally got here I was surprised at how different the general behavior and communication among people is compared with what I know from Germany. Everyone is extremely open- minded and friendly and they have a very close bond with their patients, which leads to a lot of fun and joking around with each other during a 12 hour shift.
I really had to change my German urge to act and look professional all the time and learn to relax more. I had to learn not to be surprised to be called ‘love’ or ‘pet’ by patients and to learn that it is okay here to have a little banter with patients and communicate in a more personal way. But I got used to it quickly and from then on I enjoyed the casual, funny atmosphere a lot. Because of the friendly and kind welcome we lost all our timidity really quickly and speaking English turned out to be no problem at all. Even if my grammar wasn’t always right and I sometimes couldn’t find the right words I was always able to communicate with my hands and feet and make sure I was understood.
We spent our working hours not only on the ward but joined other people who had different professions. This way we got an insight into a bigger hospital, home visits and residential homes and were able to exchange experiences about training to be a nurse with other students.
In our free time we explored the surrounding area, the beautiful Lake District and spent time with the wonderful couple we were staying with. On the whole, I learned a lot about working with older patients and how to support them as well as providing palliative care. I’ve had unique and wonderful experiences on the ward but also about living in a different country with foreign people as well.
I really came to love England and its people and I shall be back soon!
We are pleased to announce that we have launched a new range of audio CDs! Each CD contains all the vital information, phrases, keywords and conversations from our popular workshops. We believe that these will become a vital tool to help students deepen their understanding and improve their pronunciation away from the classroom. All the CDs were recorded by Donna Druce, a native English speaker with a perfectly clear voice!
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