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

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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

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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)

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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.

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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.

 

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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

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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

 

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The Expert Group Visit – June 2017

With a network of contacts in the UK and throughout Europe, EfN have been able to arrange several successful visits of nursing professionals to the UK. These ‘Expert’ visits allow healthcare professionals, managers and academics to spend time in Bristol and gain first-hand experience of hospital facilities, nursing training and development. This month, we welcomed professionals from Hamburg, Munich and Bremen. We were also delighted to be joined by our patron, Professor Jacqui Filkins from Cumbria.

Below you can read an insightful report from one of our German colleagues about this latest visit:

Der Besuch bei English for Nurses im Juni 2017

In Deutschland hört man ja immer wieder, dass das nationale Gesundheitssystem (National Health System = NHS) in Großbritannien schlecht sei, es gebe nicht genug Personal und die Ausstattung in den Krankenhäusern sei nicht so ‚doll’ und andere Gerüchte. Während eines viertägigen Besuchs habe ich aber einen anderen Eindruck gewonnen.

Unsere Gruppe hat Kolleginnen und Kollegen kennen lernen dürfen, die mit spürbar hohem Engagement und Herzblut von ihrem Arbeitsalltag berichtet haben. Sie strahlten Stolz aus auf das, was sie tun. Unsere Fragen wurden mit großer Offenheit beantwortet. Dabei waren die Kolleginnen und Kollegen nicht besonders ausgesucht, so z.B. in Weston-Super-Mare besuchten wir am ersten Tag im General Weston Hospital eine Abteilung für das ambulante Operieren und die Stroke Unit. Wir begegneten zwei diensthabenden Kolleginnen. Sie zeigten uns ihre Stationen ohne Scheu. Vor jeder Station ist eine Tafel angebracht, auf der vermerkt ist, wer als Personal anzutreffen ist, aber da steht auch, wann die letzte MRSA-Infektion stattgefunden hat oder wann sich zum letzten Mal ein kritischer Vorfall, z.B. ein Sturz eines Patienten, ereignet hat. Transparenz scheint einen hohen Wert im National Health System (NHS) zu haben.

Dem Krankenhaus angegliedert ist eine Abteilung für Fort- und Weiterbildung, die 24/7 geöffnet ist. Hier sind Schulungsräume, in denen z.B. Fortbildungen zur Lunchtime stattfinden, und hier gibt es eine Bibliothek, die viel frequentiert wird, eigentlich, so hieß es, sei hier immer jemand anzutreffen.

Anschließend wurden wir im gleichen Ort im Hospiz Westonhospice Care empfangen. Die Räumlichkeiten erinnerten mich sehr an die Hospize, die ich aus Deutschland kenne. Anders die Philosophie der palliativen Pflege: Patienten kommen auch in das Hospiz, um Kräfte zu sammeln. Dann werden sie wieder nach Hause entlassen, wo sie vom ambulanten Pflegedienst weiter palliativ versorgt werden. Hier ist das Hospiz weniger mit dem Tod verbunden, als bei uns. Eigentlich heißt es auch „Wellbeeing-Center“. Andererseits ist es ein riesiges Unterfangen, Gelder zu beschaffen, die die Existenz des Hospizes erst ermöglichen. Nur 20% der benötigten Gelder werden staatlich bezuschusst. Die ganze Gemeinde ist mit eingespannt, wenn es darum geht, die restlichen 80% durch gemeinnütziges Engagement, z.B. Basare, Marathonlauf, Streetparties o.ä., zu erwirtschaften. So entsteht aber auch eine große Verbundenheit mit der Einrichtung.

Am nächsten Tag fuhren wir in die Universität von Bristol – an die University of West of England (UWE), die für die theoretische / akademische Ausbildung der Studenten verantwortlich ist. Von dort aus werden sie in den Praxiseinsatz geschickt, z.B. nach Weston-Super-Mare, Bath, Bristol, Gloucester (eigentlich im ganzen Südwesten Englands). Wir lernten das Skill-Lab und dessen Skills kennen, was sehr beeindruckend war. Es ist wie ein normaler Krankensaal eingerichtet, so wie man es wirklich im NHS vorfinden würde. Acht Betten mit den Vorhängen (die wir aus dem Fernsehen kennen), ein Schreibtisch für das Pflegepersonal, Schränken mit Equipment und was man sonst so braucht. In den Betten liegen „Dummies“, das sind mechanisch-gesteuerte Pflegepuppen, die u.a. atmen und mit den Augen blinzeln, und bei denen man die Vitalzeichen messen kann und vieles mehr. Diese Dummies werden computergesteuert monitored und je nach Übungsaufgabe für die Studenten = Blutdruckmessung, Waschen, Notfallübung bei einem Mykoardinfarkt, Sturz, Dekubitus etc. dementsprechend eingestellt.

Von einem Nebenraum aus lässt sich über einen Einwegspiegel alles beobachten und einstellen. Das ist der Raum, in dem die Dozenten u.a. auch das Vorgehen der Studenten überprüfen und steuern. Hier stehen auch die Geräte, über die Funktionen der „Patienten“ / Dummies manipuliert werden. Zudem kann man von hier aus die Patienten sprechen lassen, so dass die Studenten dann entsprechend reagieren müssen.

Nach der Aktion im Skill-Lab werden die Aufzeichnungen (Bild und Ton) gemeinsam mit den Studenten ausgewertet und reflektiert.

Es wird in diesem Skill wirklich eine 1:1 Übertragung von der alltäglichen Stationsarbeit geprobt, gelehrt und evaluiert, so dass die Studenten durch diesen Prozess sehr gut auf ihre jeweiligen Einsatzplätze vorbereitet werden.

Überhaupt spielt die strukturierte Reflektion im Studium und auch darüber hinaus eine wichtige Rolle. Die Studenten werden während des Praxiseinsatzes von Mentoren begleitet und angeleitet. Wer Mentor sein will, muss, wie bei uns, eine entsprechende Ausbildung absolvieren und muss sich dann regelmäßig weiterbilden bzw. seine Qualifikation immer wieder neu nachweisen. Hier ist der Einfluss der Pflegekammer spürbar. Die Pflegenden haben für sich und ihre Berufsgruppe selbst Regeln geschaffen, die vorgegeben, welche Position in der Pflege welche Qualifikation benötigt. Über diese Kontrolle kann die Qualität in der Pflege sichergestellt werden. Natürlich ‚stöhnen’ die GB-KollegInnen über den Aufwand, regelmäßig ihr sogenanntes Clinical Professional Development nachweisen zu müssen, der Nutzen wird aber von den gleichen KollegInnen sehr deutlich kommuniziert. Die GB-KollegInnen ‚staunen’, dass es das bei uns nicht gibt.

Am letzten Tag konnten wir einen Einblick in einen der nächsten Einsätze der deutschen AustauschschülerInnen (über das Erasmus+ Programm) gewinnen. Sie werden in der Abteilung für forensische Psychiatrie in Bristol eingesetzt – im Black Berry Hill Hospital. Der leitende Pflegende stellte uns den Alltag in der Forensik vor. Er sprach über die Ziele und über die Schwierigkeiten, die die Arbeit mit psychisch kranken Straftätern mit sich bringt. Regelmäßige Reflexionsgespräche helfen den Mitarbeitern, den Alltag zu verarbeiten. Diese Gespräche müssen von allen, auch von den Leitungen / dem Management durchgeführt werden. Da achtet die hiesige Pflegekammer (the Nursing and Midwifery Council) drauf.

Es waren vier dichte, nicht unanstrengende Tage, die wir erlebt haben. Tagsüber nahmen wir viele Eindrücke auf, und abends erlebten wir gemeinsam den Tag noch einmal diskutierend durch. Manches konnten wir so durch weiteres Hinterfragen neu verstehen. Wir haben die Ähnlichkeiten der Pflegesysteme zwischen den Ländern gesehen, und wir haben die Unterschiede deutlich gespürt.

Für mich ist beeindruckend, mit welchem Stolz die Kolleginnen und Kollegen von ihrer Arbeit berichten, welchen Einfluss die Pflegekammer auf die Pflegequalität hat, und wie selbstverständlich deren Regeln geachtet und respektiert werden.

Mein Dank geht an Sabine Togler, die diese Reise organisiert hat, an ihre Kolleginnen und Kollegen, die sich bereitwillig Zeit für uns und unsere Fragen genommen haben, und an die Schirmherrin für English for Nurses, Frau Prof. Jacqui Filkins, die uns an ihrem Insiderwissen zur britischen universitären Ausbildung hat teilnehmen lassen (Monika Hornschuh, Hamburg im Juli 2017).

 

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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.

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Seven weeks in Maryport, England

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.

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My Erasmus Exchange in Cumbria

My Erasmus Exchange in Cumbria

By Frauke Hofhus

February 2017

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.

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A Review of my Participation in the Erasmus+ Program

A Review of my Participation in the Erasmus+ Program

by Laura L.

Cockermouth, England,

06.02.2017-12.03.2017

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

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!

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My Erasmus Exchange in Penrith Hospital, UK – by Sharon Burkhard

Penrith Hospital 7th October 2016 to 20th November 2016

I flew on the 7th October 2016 from Dusseldorf to Newcastle for six weeks. From there I took the train and drove to Carlisle, after changing in Carlise (15 min) I was in PENRITH. It is a town in the north of England. It is a part of Cumbria, just 5 km from Lake District National Park.

I met Ann- the ward leader on the Saturday before I started my work. She showed me the small hospital and told me about the different wards.

Hospital:

I worked in a small 28 bed hospital, the hospital consists of various departments such as the Minor Injury, Community, Outpatients, Eden Ward and the Hospice. I had the opportunity to go through all these departments. There are different types of sisters, such as the Health Care Assistant, Staff Nurse, Senior Staff Nurse and Nurse Practitioner.

On my first day at the ward I was quite lost, it was very difficult for me to understand the people with their dialect. But the more I spoke to people, the easier it seemed to me.

I had the opportunity to see much on the wards here and to learn how the nurses and Help Care Assistance work. I could work with all the various professional groups and they gave me an insight into the cooperation. I had great experiences and will take a lot of them with me to Germany. Even though I initially had problems with the language, I became better by the day and also safer talking to the patients. I was able to integrate well into the daily routine and also the documentation for the different sheets, such as Mouth Care Assessment Tool, Nursing and Care Plan, Safety and Skin Checks, as well as the Daily Diary.

Accommodation:

I stayed at a woman´s house in Penrith – Carlton. I had my own room and bathroom. To the hospital and the town It took 20 minutes on foot and the train station 30 minutes, but I could also go by bike. It was nice to come home and have someone with whom you could talk or spend free days together. The next supermarket was 20 minutes away, but there was a small farm where you got the most necessary items only 10 minutes away.

Weekends: I had the opportunity to travel a lot:

Penrith, Carlisle, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Lake District, Manchester

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Our Erasmus Exchange in Leicester, UK – By Sünje and Lisa

Lisa and I went on an internship abroad to Leicester, England. We lived with our friendly host mother Cathryn and her lovely daughters, who were ages 6 and 7. From the very first moment, she made us feel very welcome. Lisa and I never felt like strangers. “Make yourself at home,” were some of her first words to us.  Lisa and I both had our own room with an extra bathroom. Cathryn’s terraced house with garden is just outside Leicester – to reach the city you have to travel about 20-30 minutes by bus. It is a good idea to book an Internet flat-rate for the stay abroad. In this way it is possible to use GoogleMaps, to check timetables and opening hours.

In the Spire Leicester Hospital all the staff were very interested and open-minded. Many showed willingness to teach us new things. Lisa and I assisted with the admissions, helped the patients wash, or a shower. We looked after the bells, brought the patients to the theatre and back, did the observations after a surgery, or the dressings. We never had to do anything which made us feel uncomfortable and could always say if there was anything we would rather not do on our own.

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My Erasmus+ Programme experience in Carlisle: a short report by Tay Duc Nguyen

My Erasmus + Programme experience in Carlisle: a short report by Tay Duc Nguyen

My Erasmus + placement was in the Westmoreland General Hospital in Kendal. This report will briefly present my experiences.

The Hospital in Kendal is a community hospital with a variety of services. My placements were in the Primary Care Assessment Unit (PCAS), Langdale Unit North, Integrated Rapid Response Service(IRRS) and with the district nurses.

My contact person for the whole time was Diane Grahame. She is the current Unity Ward Manager in the PCAS. She is a wonderful person and always took great care that everything was all right for me.

Back in Germany I booked the trip to Kendal from Cologne/Bonn Airport to London Stansted and from London Euston with a train straight to Oxenholme and then a final change of train to Kendal. Of course, I stayed in London for a day to have a look around the capital of England. I booked all my tickets a month before traveling so I got some good discounts on my tickets.

The place I lived in was called Staveley, where I found a room to stay for the six weeks. I found the room via Spareroom.com and I just tried my luck with every advertisement I could find. Most of the landlords wanted a lodger to stay for at least 3 months. My alternative would have been a hostel in Kendal. Staveley is a lovely little village to stay. I took the bus or the train to get to Kendal. It is cheaper to buy monthly or weekly tickets beforehand, but in my stay in the Langdale Unit I was fortunate that one of the workers there gave me a ride to work.

I really enjoyed my work in this hospital. Everyone took great care of me and was willing to teach me what I needed to learn. I was able to observe differences in the work between these two great nations. I was also able to learn new English medical terms and my English in general is now much improved.

All of the team leaders adjusted my working hours to suit my train or bus times, which made my working experience more comfortable. Furthermore, my weekends were free. So, I had time to explore the breathtaking scenery and landscapes, hills, mountains and seas, cities and villages of the Lake district.

All in all it was a unique work experience, which broadened my horizons and my thinking about the work of nursing. It was a great opportunity to develop my character and a really enjoyable part of my education as a nurse.

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My Erasmus + Exchange in Carlisle, Cumbria, in Northern England – by Hannes Gropengiesser

My Erasmus+ Exchange in Carlisle, Cumbria, in Northern England

by Hannes Gropengiesser

It is October 2016 and just a few months ago I found out the destination for my exchange. I will spend six weeks, just a few minutes from the Scottish-border in an English town called Carlisle. My first research brought me to google maps and, while it is far up north and not very big, Carlisle lies in the beautiful English countryside, near the Lake District and with historical sites all around, like Hadrian’s Wall.

Three days before the plane trip from Hannover over Amsterdam to England I had a phone call with Fiona (the organiser in Carlisle) and Jan, a colleague from Hannover.
We received information about where we needed to be on Monday. We could also express our wishes about what we would like to see.

The travel itself was quick and easy to manage. We booked a plane with KLM from Hannover to Newcastle over Amsterdam and then continued via subway and train to Carlisle. I managed to buy the train tickets right away, which was cheaper and usually you get discounts when booking online.

Arriving in Carlisle I had to find my way to my pre-booked accommodation. This was a guestroom I found on couchsurfing.com, quite affordable and located only 20 minutes by foot outside the city centre.

On our first day we went to a Government Building on Hilltop Heights. It looks like an office building and that is what it essentially is. There we were introduced to different teams all working within the Carlisle community. We than found out that we would not be placed in a Hospital but instead we would be in working in these different Teams who operate outside the Hospital. This was quite surprising to us because we were given other information beforehand. Nonetheless, all the Teams we actually worked with really tried to make our time as interesting and enjoyable as possible. So, we learned a lot about the differences between the English and the German Health-systems and the services they both provide.

Recommendations

Working abroad, you will experience so many different and new impressions in your first week that you may begin to think that everything seems extremely unorganised compared to what you know at home. Well, sometimes that might be true! But just go with it and you will get used to it, while recognising that it is all somehow working just as well, only differently.

Be open to trying new things. If you get the chance to do 12 hour shifts, just go for it and try it. I personally found it quite good and enjoyed working three long days and having the rest of the week off.

Lake District Area

In your time off you can enjoy yourself in the beautiful countryside around Carlisle such as the Lake District. Or you visit one of the pubs for a quiz- or music night. You can plan bus or train trips to Edinburgh, Newcastle or have a walk around Hadrian’s Wall.

Edinburgh

 

Hadrian’s Wall

 

Just enjoy your stay and be open to new things, experiences and ways of doing things.
This Project is a great opportunity to start an exchange and a relationship with people from other countries not only at a personal level but also professionally.

 

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Julius Jahner and Ann Kathrin Gobien – Working as a nursing student for the National Health Services in Cumbria

About our placement in Penrith…

Working as a nursing student for the National Health Services in Cumbria…

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Ward Manager Ann Taylor

In April 2016, we moved to Penrith in North Cumbria for 6 weeks to do our placement at the Community Hospital in Penrith.

Penrith is a smaller town within the Cumbria county in the North of the United Kingdom. Cumbria is situated nearby the Lake District – a National Park Area with a fabulous landscape and a unique nature experience.

First, we lived at Tynedales Bed & Breakfast. Later, we found an attic flat, that was let by a young couple, to live in for the rest of our stay.

The Penrith Community Hospital is a small hospital inside the Cumbria Partnership of NHS run by the NHS Foundation Trust. There is a ward with 28 beds, a Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) with enhanced diagnostic testing for adults, a Minor Injury Unit (MIU), a Physiotherapy department, an out-patient service provided by Extended Scope Practitioners and Hospice services in the day care facility.

The Ward Manager Ann-Taylor, who was responsible for the exchange in Penrith, was very dedicated to provide us a really interesting placement by letting us rotate through all the units in the hospital. Thus, we received an overview about various parts of the hospital and different other medical professions.

I started my training by working on the Community for two weeks with one of the district nurses, called Lynn. It is likely the same as “Ambulanter Pflegedienst” in Germany. In difference to Germany, it was not our task to wash people. Our tasks were to care about diabetics, palliative and geriatric patients, give insulin injections, make special wound dressings for patients and care about urinary catheters and sorts of drainages. A really positive thing was, that the time frame for our tasks was much bigger than in Germany and we spent a lot of time talking to patients about their needs and situations. Furthermore, the work was more patient-centered. On Thursdays, I spent the day in the day care facility, which offers a hospice service once a week. The staff had really creative ideas to prepare a program, for example theme parties like celebrating the Queen’s Birthday for the old and ill people.

In the third week, I was working in the Outpatient Unit likely the same as “Ambulanz” in Germany. There were many different clinics every day with consultants having various specializations as well as practitioner nurses offering their own clinics. I had the opportunity to sit in treatment room with the doctors to listen to their anamneses survey. One day, I spent in the x-ray department or watched an ultrasound or EMG survey.

After this, I spent two weeks at the ward. There were mostly geriatric patients. The first thing that made myself conspicuous, was the much better staff ratio then in Germany. The ward Ann-Taylor ensured that I worked together with a wide variety of people with different professions like health carers, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurse practitioners, general practitioners and doctors in an interdisciplinary team.

Finally, I spent my last week on the minor injuries unit. Working in this department, I had a `hands-on` experience in the triage room seeing how the nurses prioritize patients. I also watched the work of doctors and practitioner’s nurses again. Also, I learned how to write an ECG and what a Rickham Catheter is.

We met many really nice and lovely people throughout our placement and we were welcomed very well by all of the staff members at Penrith Hospital. Ann was a great supervisor during our placement. She also organized a night out in a local pub for us with some of the Penrith hospital staff as a fun ice breaker.

There were three German Nurse students in Penrith at the same time – Hanna from Hannover, Ann-Kathrin and me. Ann-Taylor gave us the weekends off. So we had the opportunity to go to Scotland twice and to visit both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Moreover, we have seen other surrounding Cities like Carlisle and York. We also went hiking in the Lake District and really enjoyed the fantastic nature and landscape.

All in all, I really enjoyed my time in Penrith working at the Hospital and 6 weeks passed too quickly. It was a pleasure to meet all the people and learning a lot about the differences for a nurse in Germany in comparison to English nurses.

In my opinion, it was a great chance to do this placement in the United Kingdom learning a lot about the Health Care System there. Besides, I could improve my language skills especially in medical terminology. This is important for me, because I can now communicate with foreign patients in Germany more professional and precise than before. I don`t want to miss this experience in my training and I achieved a lot for my future career as a nurse.

Julius

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Ullswater Lake located in the Lake District nearby Pooley Bridge

Castle ruin in Penrith

Castle ruin in Penrith

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Lee showing us the Helicopter of the Great North Air Ambulance Service

Helicopter of the Great North Air Ambulance Service

Helicopter of the Great North Air Ambulance Service

Point of Interest in Glasgow

Point of Interest in Glasgow

Tea Time in York on our Off-Day

Tea Time in York on our Off-Day

Original English Breakfast served by Thomas at Tynedales B&B

Original English Breakfast served by Thomas at Tynedales B&B

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Alice Koch – My Erasmus+ Placement in the Community Care of Carlisle

My Erasmus+ Placement in the Community Care of Carlisle

Travel & Accommodation

Arrival: The cheapest tickets to get to the North of England are with KLM airlines. I flew to Newcastle Airport which is about 100k from Carlisle. It takes 2-3 hours from Newcastle Airport using the metro and then the main line train to Carlisle. By car the journey would take about 1 hour.

Carlisle is less than 15 minutes from Gretna and the Scottish border on the train. There is also a regular bus service.

The journey to Keswick in the North Lakes can vary from 1hour to 2 hours by bus depending on the route.
Accommodation: It is difficult to find a cheap accommodation or a flat share for a short-term rent. I asked a few people over couchsurfing.com if they could recommend something. One offered to rent his guestroom to me for a very good price, Jackpot!

Professional – Work Place

First Day: I wasn’t quite sure, where I would be in the end of the day, because I got different Information. My last Information was that I was going to the Solway Clinic next to the building I ended up in. Lisa one of the Health Care Assistant, kindly picked me up from there and introduced me to the staff in the office.

The Office

This is a non NHS building, over 4 floors. The ground floor is a community clinic for outpatient appointments such as podiatry, retinal screening, children’s nursing and many others.

My work place was on the 1st floor. This is a big room with lots of desks, a busy work place which is shared by a variety of Community Teams; Early Supported Stroke Discharge Team, Neuro Physio, Out Of Hospital Care Team (OOHC), District Nurses, Rapid Response Teams, Home First, Community Rehabilitation Team, Speech & Language Team and others. The teams are multi-disciplinary, with Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Nurses, Health Care, and Social Workers along with admin support. They work in their specialisms but also work as an interdisciplinary team and refer patients across teams to meet their particular needs.

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This is the first time I have worked in “out of the hospital care” so I never associated nursing with an office where there were no patients in sight and it was quite confusing!
I worked with the OOHC, Rapid Response and the District Nurses, but also had the opportunity to accompany Allied Health Professionals ( AHPs) Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists and visited patients in their home environment.
OOHC are mainly responsible for palliative and personal care. Rapid Response team are responsible for IVs and take referrals for everything else that needs to be done which is unscheduled, i.e. a leaking dressing. District Nurses are responsible for scheduled injections, dressings, blood sugar monitoring and lots more

Getting around in Carlisle
Traveling in Carlisle: The most important thing first, the left hand driving in England is really confusing! Watch out!
For travelling around Carlisle, the best thing is to buy weekly bus tickets for £11 per week. It is a little bit tricky to get to used to the bus stop system, because the next bus stop is not shown on a display inside the bus and most of the bus stops do not have a name written on their shield and are called near Morrisons on Google Maps for example. Maybe a quick chat with the driver when starting on the journey could help.
Traveling in and around Carlisle after work:

Carlisle is a lovely place with lots of spots to discover. There is a historical quarter with the castle, cathedral and museum. The town centre has a variety of shops in the Lanes, indoor shopping centre. There are parks within walking distance of the town centre. There is also the Sands, which is a leisure centre and home to entertainment and shows. The weather can be inclement so I would advise anyone to be prepared.

In Carlisle

Rickerby Park

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Tullie House Museum

Dalston – village on the outskirts

City Centre (English Street, Scotch Street)

Carlisle Castle

Hadrian’s Wall – on a bus journey

Cathedral

(The tiny Coffee Shop next to Debenhams!)

Around Carlisle – Rural locations accessible by bus or car
The Lake District & Gretna Green

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..and lots of more places!

 

Armathwaithe

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Edinburgh, Glasgow & Newcastle are the main towns which are accessible by regular train service. The railway station is in the town centre.

I would advise, to get the most out of your time in the North of England, spend a bit more time and money travelling to experience the Cumbrian locality than shopping J

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Article of Heidrun Pundt (Education Lead Nurse from Bremen and Member of the German Nursing Association DBfK)

I attended the Nurses Expert Trip ‚English for Nurses – intercultural learning‘ from 30.08.2016 – 02.09.2016 in Bristol. All of us (another 9 colleagues) received a warm welcome from Sabine at English for Nurses. On the first day Ms Bella Ware (at UWE) and Ms Susie Milton (at WGH) have shown us around at the General Weston Hospital in Weston-Super-Mare. The nurses-team provide a wide range of health-care there. We got a glimpse of Stroke-nursing, we visited the Outpatient Department and were also very welcomed at the Hospice in Weston. After this visit, we had the great chance also visiting the North Somerset Community Project, where Community Nurses and the team from Rapid Response work closely together. I am really impressed of the systematically approach of the patient’s need. The patients and their day to day ‚habits’ are in the centre of health care in Britain. They should stay at home as long as possible and get at home / in the community the professional care, which they need. On the second day we visited the University of West of England (UWE). Ms. Bella Ware was our main host there. The facilities were just amazing and we were impressed about the interprofessional approach. We all have taken a lot of ideas and thoughts back home and will try to improve or nursing education system in Germany.

A really big thank you to Sabine, Bella and Susie and Team – from Heidrun

(Registered Nurse UK, Dipl. Pflegewirtin)

(Registered Nurse UK, Dipl. Pflegewirtin)

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Our Exchange Experience by Christina & Janine

Last September we began our journey to Leicester to undertake work experience at the Spire Hospital. We worked for four weeks, helping the Staff Nurses on Ward Two.

Everyone was very friendly and helped us get off to a good start in Great Britain. It wasn’t easy to understand everything during the first days, but it became easier over the next four weeks. If we didn’t understand what the staff members were saying, they would try to explain with their hands and feet! They were very patient with us.

We stayed with one of the senior staff nurses, her husband and their two daughters. The host-family was lovely and gave us an insight into British culture and tradition. They helped us whenever we needed it – for example to book tickets for a football match at Leicester City. They also took the time to integrate us into their family-life and leisure activities.

Most of the time we worked early shifts so we could go to restaurants and pubs after work. On our days off we used the time to travel. We spent some time in London and visited the Warner Brothers Studios of Harry Potter as well as lots of other sightseeing. We also went to Manchester to see Old Trafford Stadium and to Liverpool to see the Albert Dock. We visited Exeter and enjoyed the natural beauty of Dartmoor.

All in all we had a wonderful time and we are sure that we will visit Leicester and our host-family again. We definitely recommend an exchange in Great Britain. We had so many new experiences and met some wonderful people.

We miss working in the Spire Hospital, Leicester, on Ward Two and all of the fantastic staff members!

Christina und Janine besuchen die QueenSpire Hospital Leicester

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Our work experience at Spire Hospital Leicester

Hello, we are Kaja (22) and Simone (21) , two student nurses from Germany-Hamburg. Kaja works at Asklepios Klinikum Nord and Simone at Asklepios Westklinikum Rissen, but we are in the same class at school.

In November and December we had the pleasure to work and live in Leicester for five weeks.

Our accommodation

Before we arrived we got an offer to stay at a college’s house for the whole five weeks. We accepted thankfully and she prepared us dinner and took us to work and back.

We lived there with her husband and two of five children of her, who are five and six years old.
It was a really good opportunity, because there are no bus stops at the hospital. We also worked her shifts, so we had no problems with going to work and back home.

Our hospital

The Spire hospital in Leicester is a private hospital with a day care ward and a normal ward, where the patients stay a few days. The specialist area is the surgery, e.g. orthopaedic, general surgery (hernia reduce) and the plastic surgery. Also they have an oncology day care ward, where the patients get their chemotherapy.

For your lunch break, you can go the staff restaurant. The food is cheap and really delicious.

Because of our good rota, we had the possibility to travel, e.g. to Cambridge and to the German Christmas market in Birmingham.

All in all, it was a great opportunity to improve our English, to live and work with people from other countries and with different cultures. We had the chance to compare our hospitals from Germany with the Spire hospital and found out what is better in England, but also in Germany.
For example, we really like the drug rounds, where the nurse checks every time the name and date of birth.

kaja-simone1kaja-simone2kaja-simone3

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4 Weeks in Bristol by Vanessa Bethge

I spent 4 weeks in beautiful Bristol from the 11th of July to the 8th of August. I had a very nice time there and it was a great experience towards my Nursing Training. I would advise everyone to do an internship abroad. I did my traineeship at the Spire Hospital – a small building with two wards.

Everybody was very nice to me and they showed me where to find everything. They treated me like I was one of them and as if I was a fully registered Nurse. Of course I told them what I was permitted to do and what I was not, but when I told them that I hadn’t done a particular treatment before, they took me along and showed me how to do it.

Not only were the staff very pleasant but the patients were very nice as well. When I was with a new patient I told them my name and that I was from Germany. Nearly every time I heard the same responses: “Ah you are from Germany, do you like Bristol?”, “Oh I’ve been to Germany a few times!” or “How long have you been in Bristol?”. Every patient was interested in what I was doing there and what my intention was being there. I learned a lot of new English words in the Hospital – a few from the staff but most of them from the patients.

Sometimes I stayed a very long time in patient rooms just talking with them. That was fine with the other Nurses because the approach in England is better than in Germany. They try to work according to the “Primary Nurse” program.

Furthermore I saw how different it is working in England. They have some methods which are better than in Germany and some which are worse (but of course still competent). The equipment on the wards and in the patient rooms is also different. But I would say that you need to form your own opinion on all of this and have the experience for yourself! 🙂

I’d also like to report about Bristol and my host family too. First, a few things about Bristol. It is a very nice, small City and you can do a lot of sightseeing there. I was lucky to stay in Bristol at a very nice time. During the summer there are a lot of Festivals in the area. I went to the Harbour Festival and the famous Hot Air Balloon Festival and it was amazing. Bristol is near to Wales so it was a good opportunity to visit Cardiff and the Welsh coast. The city of Bath is also worth a visit – it’s not that far from Bristol.

I had some problems finding a good host family near to the Hospital in Bristol. My first stay was with “Ester and John” and it was horrible! I would advise you not to stay with this host (ask Sabine Torgler from English for Nurses). When I met Sabine for a Coffee to talk about my situation I told her that I felt very uncomfortable with this family. What Sabine did for me was amazing! She immediately contacted the company where I found the host and even let me stay at her own home until we found a new and better family to stay with. 🙂

However, this difficult situation didn’t get me down because of the help from Sabine and all the great work at the Hospital.

My stay there was one of the best experience I’ve ever had!

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My Work Experience Report by Desireé Schulz

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I spent 4 weeks in Leicester with Michelle… or should I say 4 days? Because it really felt like that. These four weeks were among the best of all my training to become a nurse.

I learned and enjoyed so much while working in another country. Everyone in the hospital was so nice and especially the family we stayed with. It was really interesting to see how people work in a hospital in another country. I had a really nice time working at Spire Hospital Leicester and I also made some new friends.

But we didn’t just work during these 4 weeks. We also had the chance to travel around the country and see a lot of cities. It was amazing and we had so much fun! We’ve been to London, Leicester (obviously haha), Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, Bournemouth and Nottingham. We really enjoyed working in the hospital and being able to travel around on our days off. It was the perfect mixture.

So when we had to leave, after four weeks, it was really sad. Even though we were only there for a month we really felt like a part of the family and also like a part of the nursing staff. Everyone in England is so nice and lovely; it was one of the biggest differences we noticed – you don’t often find this same open-heartedness in Germany. All in all, I have nothing negative to say about our month in England. All I can say to you is this: If you have the chance to visit England for 4 weeks and work in a Hospital, DO IT! You won’t regret it, trust me. 🙂

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My work experience in Bristol at the Spire hospital (“The Glen“)

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my work experience in Bristol at the Spire hospital (“The Glen“)

Hello!

My name is Merle and I am currently training to become a general nurse in Germany at the Ev. Amalie Sieveking- Krankenhaus in Volksdorf. I´m in my fourth year of training. I am also doing a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science at the Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften in Hamburg. I was given the opportunity to come to Bristol between the 10th of August 2015 and the 20th of September 2015 for work experience through the ERASMUS scholarship program.

my experience on the ward

I had the chance to work on different wards within the hospital. I worked in the Paediatric Department, on the adult ward, in the Theatre (we were able to watch some fascinating surgery such as a child’s Scoliosis operation), in the Recovery Room, in the HDU (High Dependency Unit) and in the long-stay and short-stay recovery wards.

my duties and responsibilities

I had a wide range of responsibilities within the hospital, including:

  • Admission (stocking, observations à checking vital-signs…& paperwork!)
  • Taking the patient down to Theatre – into the anaesthetic room
  • Drug-rounds (with my mentor)
  • Picking up patients from recovery (after the procedure)
  • Post-Op (documentation & observation)
  • Discharging patients

It was such a great opportunity to experience nursing in another country – especially in Bristol and within this private hospital. I completely fell in love with the work as a nurse, as well as the country and the people. I really would like to work at “The Glen” one day because everyone, even the consultants, appreciate your work. All in all, I have to say it was such a good experience working on the ward with such a supportive team!!

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First Bristol Student Nurse – Julia

My Work Experience in Spire Hospital Bristol

Hello, I am Julia. I am doing my nurse training in Germany at Charité Berlin and spent four weeks in Spire Hospital (“The Glen”) for a work experience.

At first it was a little bit like a shock because everything was new and I had not expected such a big difference to Germany.

But it was a great experience to do nursing in another country and compare that to what you know. Some things were better, to other things I could not get used to in that short amount of time.

What I really liked were the drug-rounds, which are so much more secure than just putting a drug-dispenser next to the bed of the patient. Also the patient were encouraged to ask the nurse about the medication and get the opportunity to request some extra drugs e.g. against pain.

The nurses have more freedom in Britain and do not have to ask the consultant about every additional drug they give as long as it is prescribed. Of course that means more responsibility too but I think it is worth it.

At the beginning of my experience I had difficulties to find the right words in English. But you are getting into it pretty well and with every week speaking and understanding the language gets easier.

Before I came to Spire I prepared myself a little bit and read a lot of English books and watched English hospital series, what helped pretty well.

Beside of the language, the financial aspect is a problem. I paid about 600 £ only for the accommodation without food. But as I had understand there is a new Erasmus program for student nurses, so that you get at least part of the money.

It is also very important to live in walking distance of the hospital because the buses in Bristol are not very reliable. A difference make the buses or trains to other cities in England. From Bristol you can easily get to Bath or Salisbury which are both worth a visit.

So I walked every day about half an hour to the hospital and that was really not a big thing. You can see so much more by walking, it is cheaper and you are getting warm. Because the houses in England are not very well isolated. If I were you I would bring some wool socks and a warm pullover with me and be prepared for rain because it is Great Britain.

But maybe you are lucky and have such a nice and sunny weather as I had most of my time and can enjoy Bristol a little bit.

It is a really nice town where you can easily find a nice restaurant or café to sit in and observe the English everyday live.

Bristol is really worth a visit and Spire Hospital a really nice and friendly place to work.

I would not like to miss the records I made and can highly recommend a work experience in “The Glen”.

Best wishes,

Julia

Julia (Left)

(Julia on the left)

EfN Graduate, Sandrine Does Vital Voluntary Work in Laos!

Volunteer Work at the Bamboo School in Laos December 2014

Sandrine (26) and Monika (32) two Swiss midwives went on a trip and worked for one month for the Bamboo School  in Mong Nohi in a small hospital. Our main task was to train the nurses in midwifery and give them a hand in their daily work. During this time we had a translator.  We could live with Alune, who has a small bungalow just 2 minutes from the hospital away. He cooked for us and we enjoyed the Laotian food.

Four nurses work in this hospital. They are responsible for all medical problems for the surrounding villages and are the first point of contact. The hospital is open 8am – 11am and 2pm-4pm. In emergencies the nurses are available by telephone. Every 10 days, there is a market in front of the hospital. On this day people come from far away and use the possibility of medical care.

In Laos the maternal and child mortality rate is very high. In particular the extremely long and arduous paths and poor infrastructure seems to be a big problem. Most women give birth without professional help.

For obstetric and gynecology problems there is one delivery room and a consultation room in the hospital available.

For the delivery itself clean delivery sets are used as well as:

  • A Dopton and Pinar
  • Measuring tape
  • Gravidadisc
  • Oxitocine
  • Konakion
  • Hepatitis B vaccination (and other vaccinations)
  • Pregnancy test (urine)

In case of complications requiring an emergency delivery like a vaginal operative delivery, the women need to be transported by boat (at least 1h) to get to a hospital with a doctor on site.  In case of a cesarean section, it takes another 3 hours to get to the next hospital with an operating room. In the event of postnatal bleeding the waits are obviously very long, sometimes too long. You can’t count on it, that there are blood bottles available.

During our time there was 1 birth without complications. Usually they have 6 births per month.  However, the majority of children in this area are born at home.

In this time, we were able to check some pregnancies. This is very important to select the pathological pregnancies as early as possible to send them to the bigger hospital.

On December 21 we were able to teach 9 nurses in a hospital nearby. They are stationed in the village and often have to work without any infrastructure. Topics were:  hygiene when cutting the cord, postpartum hemorrhage, shoulder dystocia and handling of newborns. The nurses were very interested in everything and a intensive exchange of knowledge took place. Some Nurses seemed to have knowledge and others are very young and still need a lot of training, especially since they work by themselves.

We spent 3 other days in 3 different villages far away where women have little opportunity to give birth in the hospital. There we explained the CDK and handed it to the women. The women were very interested as well.

For us it was a wonderful experience and we were very impressed to see how they live their life in a simple infrastructure

The Laos people are very hospitable and welcoming and we had a memorable time.

IT NEEDS MIDWIVES MORE THAN EVER!

Sandrine and Monika