My 5 Week Internship at the Spire Hospital in Leicester, England – by Leonie Schuster

On the evening of the 25th of March 2017 I arrived at the beautiful house of my host family. When I stepped out of the taxi, which stopped about 50 meters away from my ‘new-home-for-the-coming-5-weeks’, my new host sisters (6 and 7 years old) already came running out to me, which was very funny. At the front door waited the Fluff the dog and my new host mother, who welcomed me with a big hug. In the house I also met the two kittens Mimi and Dusel and found a ready cooked, very delicious meal. It was a very friendly and warm welcome and I liked it there at once. I had a big room with my own bathroom.

My second day was my first working day. My host mother, who was also a nurse on my new ward had the same shift as me and we drove together in the car to work, which took about 15 minutes. On my ward I met a very friendly, skilled team. During the first days it was a bit difficult to understand the handover, because of the different accents and the very fast speech of my colleagues. Not to mention the many medical shortcuts which were used! But very quickly I got used to it and after a few days it wasn´t a problem anymore.

My ward was a big surgical ward with a single room for every patient as it was a private hospital.

Though the hospital wasn´t very big at all. Besides this ward there were four theatres plus a recovery area, an oncology day clinic for chemotherapy, an x-ray department, and another ward, which was only open for a few days per week for short examinations like colonoscopy etc.

Besides the oncology ward I visited every department during my stay, but most of the time I worked at the surgical ward. My tasks were actually very similar to my work in Germany. I changed dressings, observed wounds, helped to mobilize patients, helped patients with personal hygiene if necessary, looked after the bells, did admissions and helped with discharging patients. I made appointments with the x-ray department and accompanied patients to theatre and x-ray. Of course, that included close post-op observations, as well as the usual vital signs checks. I´ve had an insight into medication usage and enjoyed the interdisciplinary contact with the physiotherapists, consultants, theatre stuff, ward clerks and service staff. They work much more closely together and are friendlier than in Germany.

In my free time I trained three times per week in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the Shootfighters MMA Academy Leicester, where I met very friendly and talented people. There were amazing teachers and incredible techniques to learn, so I´d recommend it for everyone who has an interest in fighting sports and is able to visit that region!

I have the feeling that I became very integrated in my host family. My host mother loves cooking and I had many fun times, eating the incredible food with her and her children. I really have to highlight that, because you can´t imagine how good the food was, it was really really good.