Let’s Talk About Cumbria by Eike Ivo, Jana and Sebastian

Eike Ivo, Jana and Sebastian (three nursing students from Bremen) recently returned from a 6-week Erasmus+ work placement at the hospitals of the North Cumbria University Hospital NHS Trust in England.  Once again, the placement proved to be a hugely rewarding and illuminating experience for these students.  You can read their honest assessment of the placement in the report below.

We wish you the very best for the next exciting steps in your nursing careers!

View the report

Anna-Katharina and Henriette at the Spire St. Anthony’s Hospital

In February and March, two more student nurses from Germany undertook work placements at the Spire St. Anthony’s Hospital in Sutton.  After completing their placements, we asked Anna-Katharina and Henriette (pictured below) to write reports of their time living and working in the UK.  We hope you enjoy reading these excellent reports and that they will inspire other nurses to undertake practical placements abroad.  Congratulations on your achievement Anna-Katharina and Henriette.  We wish you both the very best of luck for your exciting careers in nursing!

Report 1: 25.02.2019 -29.03.2019 – Anna Katharina König

Report 2: 11.03.2019 -18.04.2019 = Henriette Grieger

Kira, Anastasia and Dana at St. Anthony’s Hospital, Sutton.

16/09/2018 to 13/10/2018

We really enjoyed our Erasmus+ stay in Great Britain, especially the chance to work in a hospital. German students don’t often have the chance to work in a hospital abroad.

We worked at a private one, St. Anthony’s Hospital, in the south of London.  As it is private, the working policy was pretty different to Germany. The wards were mainly interdisciplinary, so there were surgery patients, orthopaedic, internal and sometimes pediatric ones.

We had the great opportunity to see surgeries, angiographies, endoscopies and much more. But this is not the only reason that made our stay so great.

As we worked in 12-hour shifts, we usually had just 3 or 4 days of work per week and had lots of time to discover London and Great Britain in general. We enjoyed breakfast with our host families, spent time with their children and dogs. Of course, we also had lots of sandwiches and tea, cookies and sweets. It was great to experience the British lifestyle by staying with host families, but also to be so close to London and to have lots of time to experience all the cultural attractions, the people and nightlife.

Myriame Lawley, our supervising nurse in St. Anthony’s Hospital, was always helpful when we had questions. All the other nurses gave us a very warm welcome too.

Kira, Anastasia, Dana

(student nurses from Hamburg, Germany)

Sabine Discusses the Erasmus+ Programme at the Mobility Agency in Hamburg

English for Nurses’ director Sabine Torgler recently attended a meeting at the mobility agency ‘Arbeit und Leben’ in Hamburg.  There she met Lena and Isabel who are our co-op partners for the Erasmus+ Programme and will send 15 student nurses to the UK this year.

During the meeting, Sabine was asked to give a short interview about her hopes and expectations for the future of the Erasmus+ Programme during these uncertain times in the UK.  You can watch the interview below.

Four Students from Bremen go to the UK

For the first time, Bremische Schwesternschaft vom Roten Kreuz e.V. sent students to England, which made us very happy. In October 2018 Jana, Justine and Nils (students for the care of the elderly) and Cagla (nursing student) went to Chertsey, Surrey, to work for four weeks in St. Peter‘s NHS-Hospital. Many thanks to Sabine Torgler, who organised everything in England. In Bremen, Mirjam Seidlitz was very helpful with the Erasmus+ scholarships.

We were very curious what the students had to tell us after returning to Germany. All four of them agreed that the experience in England was a highlight in their young nursing careers. “We got an overwhelming reception and everyone in the hospital was very kind, sympathetic and helpful. We had the chance to see many areas and could even participate in further education days. Our language skills improved day by day. But it was always a challenge to cope with new and unfamiliar situations. Looking back, we are very proud that we managed it all.”

Justine: “I was very impressed with the fantastic mood and spirit on the wards. Working was relaxed and there was as much time pressure as in Germany.”

Cagla: “The influence of the General Nursing Council (Pflegekammer) is remarkable in England. The Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Professional Board discussed the wish of nurses to implement a new position especially for preparing remedies in order to release the nurses.”

Nils: “In England, an apprenticeship for the care of the elderly is unknown. I had to repeat again and again what this is all about in Germany. Now I am fluent in describing our system”.

Jana: “I realised that I really love working as a nurse when there is more time and better conditions on the wards. I hope there will be an improvement in Germany. The profession is really worth going for.”

Besides the many positive impressions, there was also a bit trouble! The Ryanair walkout had just occurred when the students started their trip to England. A rebooking was necessary, which caused much excitement. Once the students arrived in Chertsey, one of the places they were staying only had a fridge and microwave in the kitchen (due to insurance requirements). But the students took it with humour and enjoyed their stay in England nevertheless.

Bremische Schwesternschaft is glad and proud that the four students managed the overseas challenge so well. Thanks again for the courage and the commitment. This is what we need for nursing and caring professions in the future.

German Nurses’ Expert Trip to Bristol / UK, 2018 by Michael Brune

Schon am Sonntagabend, dem Anreisetag, haben wir uns in einem Restaurant mit der Organisatorin Sabine Torgler von „English for Nurses“ getroffen, als auch mit den anderen Teilnehmern der Expertenreise. Es war von Anfang an eine sehr angenehme und offene Runde, mit der schon am Abend intensive Gespräche und Diskussionen zur Pflegesituation in England und Deutschland stattgefunden haben.

Am ersten Tag haben wir die University „of the West of England“ (UWE) und Ihre Skills Labs besucht. Nach einem freundlichen Empfang konnten wir die großzügigen Räume besichtigen, in welchen das Studium u.a. verschiedener Ausrichtungen der Krankenpflege, Hebammen und Paramedics ermöglicht wird. Wir sahen gleich mehrere Skills Labs verschiedener Ausrichtungen und moderner Ausstattung z.B.: mit Übungspuppen, welche kabellos und vollsteuerbar waren und diverse Funktionen des menschlichen Körpers imitieren konnten. Sie wurden gleich an acht Übungsstationen in modernen Klinikbetten breitgehalten, nebst weiterer Übungsräume. Während des Rundgangs wurde uns das Studium der Krankenpflege dann in Inhalt und Ablauf nähergebracht, welches sich in Struktur und Transparenz durch viele standardisierte Abläufe von der deutschen Ausbildung unterscheidet.

Anschließend fand ein Treffen mit der Studiengangsleitung der Paramedics statt. Die Paramedics sind in der Unfall- und Erstversorgung in England in ihrer Tätigkeit eigenständig. Im Gegensatz zu unseren Rettungssanitätern und Rettungsassistenten in Deutschland können sie ohne ärztliche Unterstützung Verantwortung vor Ort tragen. Danach stand ein Besuch im Hospital Museum des Glenside Campus an, der mit seinen Ausstellungstücken einen lebendigen und interessanten Eindruck der pflegerischen Geschichte geben konnte. Dabei konnte man viele Parallelen zur deutschen pflegerischen als auch medizinischen Versorgung feststellen. Abgerundet wurde dieser erste Tag in geselliger und sehr angenehmer Runde bei einem indischen Dinner.

Der zweite Tag startete im Black Berry Hill Hospital – einer forensischen psychiatrischen Klinik. Dort hatten wir lange und ausgiebig Zeit, mit dem klinischen Leiter, als auch mit den Ausbildungs- und Bereichsleitungen zu sprechen. Ausführlich wurde uns die Arbeit vor Ort erläutert und geduldig und detailliert jede Frage beantwortet. Anschließend konnten wir den Therapiebereich und eine Station einschließlich eines Patientenzimmers besichtigen. Eine super interessante Erfahrung und Gelegenheit, dort einen Einblick zu erhalten, wenn auch zum Teil beklemmend durch die vielen Türen, die sich hinter einem verschlossen und die zum Teil funktionale und immer den Sicherheitsaspekten unterworfenen Einrichtung spiegelten. Dies schuf eine sehr eigene Atmosphäre. Darauf folgte ein Besuch der Pro Health Care – eine Zeitarbeitsfirma für Psychiatrische Pflegekräfte. Auch dort nahm man sich viel Zeit und konnte spannende Einblicke gewinnen. Abschließend saßen wir noch lange zusammen, um Impressionen des Erlebten auszutauschen, leider nicht mehr in ganz vollständiger Runde, da eine Teilnehmerin schon am Nachmittag abgereist war.

Insgesamt waren es drei sehr interessante, mit vielen Informationen gefüllte Tage, in denen der Austausch zu sehr freundlichen, offenen und gastfreundlichen Menschen aus dem Bereich des englischen Gesundheitswesens ermöglicht wurde. Alle Tage waren bestens organisiert durch eine aufmerksame und für die Belange der Pflege begeisternde Sabine Torgler. Gleichzeitig war es eine großartige Truppe, die sich dort zusammengefunden hatte. Das hat alle Erlebnisse in bester Weise abgerundet. Umso dankbarer bin ich meinem Arbeitgeber, der Pflegeschule des EvKB, welche mir diese Erfahrungen und Eindrücke durch deren Unterstützung möglich gemacht hat, aufgrund der Zustimmung durch meine Vorgesetzte Petra Krause.

 

Kimberley and Rieke’s 7 Week Placement at Blackberry Hill Hospital in Bristol

During our forensic psychiatry placement in in Bristol, we learned a lot. On the one hand we were able to improve our knowledge of mental health care. But, we learned so much more than that: life in a shared flat, learning our way around in a new city abroad (yes, we did get lost more than once, many thanks at this point to Google Maps without whom we probably would not have found anything!), what the British think of punctuality (it is definitely not as important to them as it is to Germans) and the kindness with which we were greeted on the wards.

We were not able to do much on our own on the wards, due to safety precautions. However, these were very important in order to keep everyone safe, not only staff but the service users as well. However, everyone made sure that we still got to see a lot. We attended patient care reviews, went on trips within the community, and we were allowed to work shifts on other wards that we were interested in.

Because of the twelve and a half hour shifts we only had to work 3-4 days per week. In the remaining free time we discovered Bristol and the surroundings. For instance, we visited the Suspension Bridge, the SS Great Britain (very impressive and definitely worth having a look at if you are in Bristol) and the Cheddar Gorge Cave (the cheese is really delicious there).

It has been a memorable time during which we experienced so many wonderful things

Rieke and Kimberley

A New Report on the Expert Group Visit 2017

In our last post we shared with you a report from our ‘Expert’ visit 2017 during which a select group of German healthcare professionals had the opportunity to tour a range of hospitals and training facilities in our home city of Bristol. These visits have become fundamental to English for Nurses’ philosophy of ‘Sharing Knowledge and Skills’. We are now delighted to be able to share a comprehensive report from two of our visitors – Heike Penner and Rita Hofheinz. The report begins with an overview of some of the challenges facing the German healthcare system, before moving on to a detailed summary of the tour itinerary and experience. The authors conclude with a discussion of the differences between the approaches adopted by the UK and Germany, as well as what lessons might be learned from the exchange. It’s fascinating reading!

Read the report here