I spent 3 months in Malta doing trainee exchange, mostly at Mater Dei hospital. My placements were at renal unit and endoscopy/operating theaters. I also spent two days in a private hospital called St. James, where I was learning the differences between public and private healthcare in Malta. I also got to see one autopsy at the very last day of my training, which was very interesting.
Overall the placements were interesting and I learned a lot of new things, especially of renal diseases, different endoscopic- and surgical procedures. Mentors were friendly and almost all the nurses were happy to help and guide you.
There were sometimes difficulties with a language barrier, since Maltese tend to speak Maltese language more than English. I was surprised, that many elderly didn’t speak English at all or very little. It was inevitable that you missed most of the small talk, which sucked.
Usage of hand disinfectant and gloves were much lower compared to Finland, basic things of aseptic techniques were well known, but seldom applied. Fortunately, things were slightly better in operating theaters, but not perfect.
Beside the fact that there were room for improvement in aseptic techniques, the quality of the care was good in my opinion. Nurses and doctors worked as a team (sometimes more like friends) and patient were always well taken care of. I didn’t find any hierarchical problems in their system, from which I was surprised.
I traveled around the islands a LOT. I rented a car for a total of 3 weeks and went through all the sights I could find information from. Malta has surprisingly much to offer for being such a small country, but you can see all the main attractions in one week if you rent a car. Driving in Malta is another issue, I wouldn’t recommend it if you aren’t confident driver. Local way of driving is selfish and careless and is very exhausting at first.
I’d definitely recommend coming to Malta for trainee exchange, it is a very warm country by climate and people. Local student (and other) groups are organizing a lot of happenings around the year so you have no chance of getting bored or lonely.
Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory -G Flaubert.