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.