All posts by Jami Honkanen

About Jami Honkanen

Nurse student who loves rugby, snowboarding, beer and kitties from Tampere, Finland.

Moro (Greetings) from Cardiff

Cardiff Castle and Principality Stadium
Cardiff Castle and Principality Stadium

It’s been while that last writing in here. The time was gone really quickly!

So couple weeks ago i ended my first placement at what was my medical/surgical placement.  Mostly i was working the ward C6 what is internal disease ward but couple my mentor also arrange to me observation to endoscopy unit,  epilepsy unit and day with specialist nurse who arrange discharged to other hospital, care home or home.  Actually i met one Finnish Neuropsychologist who working in epilepsy unit!

Last week i stared my community nursing placement and was in rheumatology unit.  The unit has a pair of doctors, five nurses and a secretary. Patients with different rheumatic diseases are in the unit and every day.  On a basic day, the unit was administered rheumatoid patients in drug therapy, life style (eating, exercise, etc.) and given the medications the patient needed. Generally, the medicines are administered intravenously, so I was usually only tracking the treatments. Here, a nurse student can not get cannulated or do IV treatments until after graduation and have been at work for a while and received extra training. Also i was observation Doctors clinic what they do in there.

Barry Hospital
Barry Hospital


This week i was working with Glamorgan Community Resource Service Team (VCRS) who keep base in the Barry Hospital.  Team idea is produce services that can help people avoid hospital admissions or get them back into the community after a hospital stay.

Team is new and teams include to nurses, the team includes physiotherapists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, social workers, speech therapists and care staff.   The team was founded in 2014 and is second in the Wales.  Mostly i was worked with nurses but i also I acquainted with the work of occupational therapists and nutritionists. Normally, there were about 2-3 meetings per day in which the team mapped the client’s needs so that the client could live as long as possible at home. That was very interesting week because in Finland we don’t have teams like that and i got change observation life in community.

Me and my mentors
Me and my mentors.

During these weeks I have also gained insight into how the nurse’s work and education differ from the nurse in Finland. For example, nursing training lasts for three years, when they qualification to the “staff nurse” then usually worked for at least two years in the ward, after which it is possible to specialize in a particular area (eg internal diseases, mental health, etc). Another thing that is different is the pay. The nurse’s salary rises every year for seven years when they are senior nurses.


One part of how I’m familiar with local culture and life is rugby. Wales is a proud rugby country. I found myself here a team named Llanishen Rugby football club. Llanishen is the district of Cardiff. In fact, the team wanted to make me a story on their website because I was the first Finnish player in their team. (link: The season ends next week here. Except to me, because the Finnish rugby season begins very shortly. I was able to play three games during the spring and I’m very grateful for that. Anyone who has ever said that sport is a common language is absolutely right on this issue!

Llanishen RFC
Llanishen RFC

Next week i start my last part of Community nursing placement in district nursing. It’s really great to see what it is like here because I’ve worked in Finland myself district nurse.

That’s all this time!

All the best.


Moro (Greetings) from Cardiff!

Three weeks is behind for this exchange.  Live is begun to normalize over here, what is actually very nice.

We arrive with my friend Miia in Cardiff first of March. That trip takes Gatwick airport to Cardiff over five hours. We ride through to England by bus and neither did not any idea where we are whole the travel. Everywhere was so green and warm compared to Finland where was same time snow and minus degrees.

Finally we were Cardiff and University hospital of Wales where our placement starts in few days. Typically, we were lost again in Hospital district. Luckily Wales peoples are very friendly and help always when you look even little bit lost, so some friendly hospitals Security guard took us to our accommodation which was only 400 meters to hospital’s concourse.

University hospital of Cardiff main entrance
University hospital of Wales main entrance.

Next couple days went very fast when we orientated our wards and hospital and university district which are side by side.

I do my exchange time for two placements: medical/surgical and district and community nursing placements. My first placements are geriatric internal medicine ward C6. Most of patient is elder people who got some long-term diseases and dementia.  Ward got about 40 patients and it is separate in to two parts which they call “north and South”. North sides are men patients’ side and south side female patients side. I’ve been working both sides depend who is my mentor that day.

The care culture and nursing cultural are quite similar than Finland. Most of different goes to the right of nurses can do and can’t do: Example: In here basic qualified nurses don’t cannulate or Catheterizes men what are normal measures in Finland.

Second thing what is different is working clothes: we students wear purple (picture below the text) clothes, health care support workes (it’s like Finland practical nurse but without qualified and  authorized to issue medicines) wear green, registered nurses wear light blue, etc. Here’s the picture for example:

All Wales Nurses and Midwives uniform (Source: UHW)
Students work uniforms
The university held a small mistake at first: I asked L size work clothes but I got 4 XL. Maybe a little too big, right?

In here we make long shifts what means twelve and half hours workdays three times a week. I think that is great because you get more spare time!

In this couple weeks we are use our spare time for training and exploring the city and little bit neighboring towns also. We were day trip from Barry Island which it is very popular beach in summer.  There are also filmed some episodes of known TV series Dr. Who.

The day was a little foggy in Barry Island.
The day was a little foggy in Barry Island.

Last weekend was full of Rugby!  Friday we were in the city watching six nations game in the pub. (Six nations is tournament where plays England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy. Locals say that’s European Super Bowl) There was play Wales against Ireland. The game played in Principality Stadium what is in Cardiff central.  Wales won that game and I’ve been never see so a lot of people celebrating in the center. That was so crazy!

Principality Stadium.
Principality Stadium.

At next day we was watching local match Cardiff Blues vs. Munster rugby from Scotland.  That was great game but unfortunately Blues lost that game only few points. Atmosphere was almost as good as yesterday’s national team game.

Saturday's rugby game at Cardiff Arms Park.
Saturday’s rugby game at Cardiff Arms Park.

Okay, I think that this was all the stuff by summarized. It would be a lot of things I’d like to tell you and show but I believe That no one is feeling like to read it all if I do it. Until the next time.  -Jami

Pub near to Cardiff Castle. I did not take the risk.
Pub near to Cardiff Castle. I did not take the risk.