The time has gone by quickly and I have now spent a month in Cardiff, Wales. My first placement has been in A&E of University Hospital of Wales. The staff in A&E has been very welcoming, they made me feel as part of the team from the first day. I was quite surprised by the lack of hierarchy in the hospital. Everybody are in the first name bases and work as a team. I feel like there are not as big hierarchy gap between doctors and nurses as in Finland. My mentor in A&E is an experienced nurse who also speaks welsh language, cymru. She is lovely and even took me to the countryside to see her horses!
Patients are first triaged as the come to A&E. A&E is divided into areas according to triage classification: Minor Injuries, Ambulatory Care Unit, Streaming and Majors, Resuscitation. In A&E staff works on 12-hour shifts, which I find quite nice. There are approximately three shifts per week. Night shifts don’t really differ from the day shifts, both are equally busy. There isn’t an electronical patient information system, everything is documented on paper. And often you have to look for the patient notes as they can be viewed by a doctor at that moment or been misplaced somewhere.
Before I started I expected to learn more clinical skills. But the role of a student nurse here is different, they aren’t allowed to practice the clinical skills as widely as we’re in Finland. For example, student nurses aren’t allowed to take blood samples, cannulate, participate in intravenous fluid therapy or do male catheterization. Regardless of this, I have learned a lot.
I live in one of the University Residences, Talybont North. I’m sharing the flat with five other people and they have been very friendly. So far I have spent my free time getting to know the city. I have also done some traditional British activities such as had traditional English afternoon tea in Pettigrew Tea Rooms which included toasts with different fillings, scones, piece of cake and pot of tea. It was delicious!
Hwyl fawr am nawr!