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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