Category Archives: Social Services, Health and Sports

Biomedical Laboratory Science, Emergency Care, Physiotherapy, Nursing and Health Care, Radiography and Radiotherapy, Social Services, Midwifery, Nursing, Public Health Nursing, Wellbeing Technology, Clinical Nursing Expertise, Development and Management of Health Care and Social Services, Health Promotion

Greetings from Shanghai!

I have been in Shanghai for three weeks now. Shanghai is one of the biggest city in the world and I really have been enjoying my stay! I have had a lot of time to explore around SH. I have visited many beautiful places like Qibao Old Town, Tianzifang, Xinchang and Gucun Park. You can find some pictures from my first weeks below!

 

I am studying at Shanghai University of Medicine & Health Sciences. I have attended the courses, such as, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tai Ji, Herbs and Spoken Chinese at school. I have also participated in CT-class with local students. Group size here is 60 students whereas in Finland it is half less. The study rooms are large and there is much more training facilities than in Finland.

From Monday to Wednesday I am working at Zhoupu Hospital which is located about twenty minutes’ walk from the University.
At the hospital I have noticed many differences to Finland. I think the biggest difference is the number of patients. In Finland, there is more time for one x-ray examination and you really have chance to work calmly and talk with the patients. In addition, there are some differences with ergonomic and hygiene rules compared to Finland. But there are lots of similarities also. Imaging machines are same I have used to use before and patients positioning is pretty similar I have learned in Finland.

The people have all been so friendly and welcoming, I’m grateful to be here and happy that I have a lot of time left!

Greetings from Faro who stole my heart

I choose Portugal because it was the one and only place where I can do traineeship exchange and have the warm weather. It is ”winter” in here now, but I can compare this weather to finnish summer and it’s actually warmer than that. My exchange is located to Faro’s central hospital. I will be in the hospitals x-ray department for three months and there I will do my practical training. At the hospital I can do conventional x-rays, computed tomography exams, MRI exams and mammography. I have done all kind of shifts, including morning shift from 9am to 3pm, evening shift from 3pm to 9pm or night shift from 9pm to 9am and also combinations of these.

At my spare time i have done a loooooot of school works, I even think that it is way too much school work in addition to the the 3 months of traineeship. Because I want explore and experience as much as possible. Of course at my spare time I have also spent time at the beach or at the terrace, anywhere in the sun. And of course i have done all of the super cool activities like cave tours, water sports, go-karting ect. I have also travelled a lot around the country. Example to Lagos, Portimao, Porto, Lisbon and Sevilla, which is in SPAIN. It takes about 3 hours to go Sevilla from faro and costs only 20€?! So I had to take that opportunity and go explore that city also. The travelling opportunities are amazing, specially because the travelling is super cheap in here. Hotels are also pretty cheap now, because now it is off-season.

If I compere this placement to the placements I have done in finland they are actually pretty same. There is a lot of differences ofcourse, but if you look at the big picture, the differences arent that big. But if you compere the athmosphere to finnish hospital it is so much more different. Here the staff behaves like a huge family, you can feel the love in the air. And in Finland it is no where near to that.

I will defenetly come back to Portugal. I really fell in love with this place!

Greetings from rainy Bergen!

My erasmus-exchange lasts 3 months. I have 1 month left. I have two courses: one course about Professional and behavioural aspects of patient care in radiography and the other beginners’ course of Norwegian. I also do an 8-week practical training in the radiological department.

Even though schoolwork takes a lot of time I still have some free time. My school has a buddy-program which organizes activities. There are both international and Norwegian students joining. I have been going hiking a lot and we’ll have a cabin-trip in the end of March. We radiographer students also organized few trips on our own. I’ll go to Oslo and some of the others go to Tromsø.

 

I had many kinds of lectures during the first 3 weeks of the exchange. I also did simulations. I think the lessons were more practical than theoretical and it is a big difference to Finland. I heard from the Norwegian students that this isn’t always the case. They probably wanted to create this kind of course for the international students. The exam is a quality improvement project that we will present in the last week of the exchange.

Norwegian classes are with other international students. The classes are a bit too easy for us who have been learning Swedish, but it is always nice to learn a new language. There will be an oral-exam: talk with your partner about a situation in Norwegian. So, no written exams!

My placements are in conventional radiography and in CT, both in private clinic. I noticed many differences to Finland:

  • Hygiene: They rarely clean up the equipment here at least in conventional in CT they are more hygienic.
  • Radiation protection: The good image matters more than the radiation dose. Sometimes good and sometimes bad in my opinion.
  • Clothes: They don’t really tell the patient to take of their clothes. Only if it’s too thick material or has metal in it.
  • Positioning: They do many of the examinations in different ways but the result is usually similar to Finland.

The weather has been changing a lot. We had some snow in the beginning but now it is either sunny or raining. It hasn’t been raining that much though 🙂

Baile Átha Cliath

I arrived in Dublin to start my Erasmus journey in january. Dublin is Ireland’s capital city, located in the east coast with population over half million and over a million in the area of Greater Dublin. City is full of history, culture, pubs, shops and restaurants. You can enjoy street music when you’re shopping or go to pub in the evening to enjoy live music and food. You can take a bus, LUAS or Dart to move around Dublin. Irish people are kind and friendly. There are lots of historical buildings, museums and activities to see and do.

I’m in clinical placement for most of my erasmus time. Morning shift starts later and breaks are half longer than in Finland. I spend every week in a different modality so I got to see lots of things and ways of working. I think Irish people are more laidback what comes to working life. Finnish healthcare system, structure and equipments are more advanced than Irish. There are many things Ireland should learn from Finnish ways of doing things. In Ireland, studying radiography takes 4 years and radiotherapy is 4 years too. Irish radiographers seem to study more image reading but I wouldn’t say they’re superior to finnish radiographers. Finnish way of doing things, especially in healthcare is more strict. In Ireland, radiographers wear jewelleries and use strong perfumes, image quality is not as good and phone usage during shift is not a weird thing to do. Radiographers role has some differences between these two countries in some modalities but basic principles are the same.

I spend my spare time exploring the city and Ireland. Dublin has so many things to see and do! Museums, cafes, pubs, restaurants, parks, shops, historical sights, monuments… Ireland is a small island which makes seeing places around Ireland easy. Buses and trains are not that expensive. Tourist bus tours are convenient for a day trip to see places that are hard to get via public transportation. During my time in Ireland, I got to know Dublin and Ireland’s history as much as I could. I also visited Northern-Ireland (Belfast, Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede-rope bridge). I visited west coast (Galway, Wild Atlantic Way, Cliffs of Moher) and other places like Kilkenny, Cork, Wicklow mountains. I have gone hiking for some really beautiful places, visited fishing towns, experienced Irish music and dancing and cheered for local sport teams in a hurling match.

Saħħa! 3 months in Malta.

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.

Bye Muzungu!

Our group of four nursing students and three social worker students arrived in Entebbe airport in 20.9.2018 late evening. First impression after all the customs and immigration checkups was two security guards with assault rifles standing outside the main doors of the airport. At least I hope they were security guards. Soon after that our driver picked us up and we drove one-hour drive to capital of Uganda, Kampala where our accommodation and training places were located. Our first week was an orientation week where we learned about local culture, got introduced to our host university which is Clarkes International University, went to a city tour with our local guides, visited our training placements and had a dinner at our host teachers house.

 

Traffic in Uganda is like from another planet compared to Finland. It seems like there is no rules in traffic at all. Cars are doing extremely dangerous passes and Boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis) are speeding between lanes, if the road even has lanes and sometimes they drive on the sidewalk, so you must be alerted every time you are in traffic. It is not a surprise that traffic accidents are common, and a ten-kilometer drive can take two hours because of traffic jams.

 

We started our working days at eight in the morning, but usually local nurses came half past eight or nine o’clock. Concept of time is little bit more flexible here than in western countries. First thing to do in the morning was to read report books from last evening and night. At the ward family members took care of everything else than medical treatment. It seemed like someone was always sitting on a chair next to their sick relative.

Usually we spent our spare time exploring the city, training at the gym or sitting in a nice local restaurant. We also went for a safari and did some other activities like ziplining and boat cruises at Victoria lake.

Hygiene and aseptics were well known in theoretical level, but sometimes it looked like local nurses didn’t really care about it. For example, they used same cannula multiple times if they couldn’t get it into a vein at first times and gloves were used only for own protection. Of course, lack of equipment is a big problem here, so everything can’t be done as well and safe compared to Finland.

 

After all Uganda is one of the best places I have ever been. Things are so different here and everyday you see something new or exciting. It’s funny how even poor people here seems to be a lot happier than most of us in Finland. In my opinion we have a lot to learn from an African way of living.

Hello from Uganda

I have been in Kampala for about two months now and still have one more to go. The time here has gone by so fast it feels like it was only few weeks ago that i arrived. The weekdays usually go past with work and maybe going to the gym in the afternoon, and just hanging around getting ready for the next day. On weekends we usually do something like go out in the town or plan activities we could do (like go lay by the pool).

 We also had a one week vacation from ”work” and we went on a safari for a few days, wich was honestly greatest thing in here so far. It was a bit pricey but still worth every penny. Our second one week vacation is coming in couple of weeks and we are flying off to zanzibar to relax.

My practical training here is taking place in four different facilities. First two were level 3 Health Centers that offered mainly doctors receptions, I.V. and other medicinal help, small surgical procedures and different clinics. I only spent two weeks in each of them but that time was quite enought to get the hang of both places. 

The third and current placement is a level 4 Health Center. There is a lot more to do and see compared to the level 3 H/C. They have all sorts of different wards: Labour, In patient, out patient, post-natal, surgical department and a few more I haven’t been to yet. Most of my time here I have spent in the labour ward and surgical department. Both of wich have been educational as hell. 

The fourth facility im going is a privat hospital IHK (International hopsital of Kampala). This hospital is supposed to be quite ”western”, and i’m intrigued to see what is a westers style hospital in the heart of Africa.

The biggest issues so far in my practical placements have been time and the African aseptics. As a finnish person im used to being punctual and going around watching the clock, but nooo that’s not how things are done in here. People come to work around 8 or 9 or 10 or 11, it’s basically up to you. And some days people might just not come to work. This has been the biggest thing for me to learn. And as far as aseptics go, you might imagine that things aren’t done as aseptically correct as back home, be it the lack of resources or education.

For anyone interested to visit Uganda i can highly recommend it. The people are nice and helpful, living is quite cheap and the weather is always warm.

Halløj from Denmark!

It’s the end of my exchange period in Denmark, so, it’s high time to sum up what happened during these two months!
Well, I had my practical training in the town of Holbæk, which is an hour from Copenhagen by train and is just a peaceful and idyllic place. The training was a part of Biomedical Laboratory Science Degree Programme and was more profound and specialized, than a general training we had during our 3rd year of study. The clinical laboratory of the Holbæk Hospital includes several basic specialty areas, such as biochemistry, haematology as well as liquid chromatography (UPLC) and mass spectrometry (MS) systems, ect. My target specialty area was mainly clinical chemistry, but overall, I’ve been through all the areas of the lab. Also, taking blood samples was a part of every workday as a morning round, for instance.

The staff, by the way, was sooo friendly and helpful, I really enjoyed the atmosphere there. The laboratory has the agreements, according to which they constantly accept students for training and studying. It is also student-friendly for the exchange internship, as most of the staff and patients can easily communicate in English. They also have some nice traditions, such as serving fresh-baked bread on Mondays and Fridays, as well as bringing some pastry for everybody even for no particular reason 🙂

 

Equivalent to a Finnish Degree Programme in Biomedical Laboratory Science, the study program of “bioanalytiker” (dan.) in Denmark focuses more on practical skills as well as on studying theory along with practice, in comparison to Finland (my opinion!). There’s also a supervising teacher in the laboratory, who is responsible for the students’ issues and some extra education of the staff. I find it very important, that there’s a teacher right in the lab, because it definitely helps students a lot during their practical training. My supervising teacher was Lis – wonderful person! She was very helpful during the training and she also suggested a topic for the research, which I performed as a required assignment. As a result, I’ve written an article for the professional journal on this topic (the issue will be published in December).

Ok, here starts the most interesting part – I’d like to tell you about my impressions of Denmark!
The very first weekend I spent in Roskilde (30 min by train), namely in Viking Ship Museum with other exchange students from all over the central region of Denmark. In short – we were rowing just like true vikings!
Some other weekend I was visiting Copenhagen with one of my colleagues. The capital is just great and the brightest impression was the Tivoli Gardens. This is the second-oldest amusement park in the world, opened in 1843 (the oldest one is also in Denmark).

These days it was decorated in a Halloween-style and that was just amazing and really impressive.

All in all, I’m glad that I had such oppirtunity to travel and gain new experiences. It was a valuable practical and living international experience, which is quite useful to have in our globalizing world.

– Alina I.

Greetings from Cardiff!

Over a month have passed already and the time has gone so quickly! Cardiff is very nice city and the weather has been good. Not that rainy as I thought!

                              

My firs placement is medical placement in University hospital of Wales. Ward A7 is specialized in acute general medicine and Gastroenterology. There are also four infectious disease cubicles for patients who needs isolation. Ward is 33 bedded and it is separated in two parts (south side and north side). I have been working in both sides depended who was my mentor in that day.

Biggest difference to Finland is probably what student nurses can do. Students in here can’t practice clinical skills as much as in Finland. For example students can’t cannulate, do i.v. medications, catheterize or take blood samples. After all I have learned a lot.

Shifts are long (12,5h) and approximately there are three shifts per week. I like the long shifts, because then I have lots of time to travel and go sightseeing!

                              

Staff in ward have been very nice and they made me feel as part of the team from the beginning. I have really enjoyed my time in here so far!

Life in Fulda

My practical training in Fulda has taken two places, one in Germany Red Cross ambulance and other in the Hospital cancer ward. First 3 weeks i was in the ambulance. Because of language barrier I couldn’t always understand everything but that was an opportunity for me to improve my skills to read the situation otherwise, which i couldn’t really concentrate at training in Finland. Their system isn’t like in Finland, biggest difference is probably that they have to transport every patient who wants to go to the hospital. Other differences are that they don’t actually go to school for study, they study by doing practical training and more often than in Finland, the doctor shows up to the scene and does something that paramedics in Finland would do. And of course doctor arrives often with helicopter. 

One time I was able to go fly with the pilot when there was not room for me in the ambulance.

Training in the hospital has been harder. I have been more contact with the patients and even though they know that I can’t understand everything, they frustrate and give up what they are trying to say. Cancer ward is only ward in that hospital where nurses are allowed to give medicines and liquefy through the veins. Still nurses are not allowed to give blood products. Aseptics are really strict because most of the patients have low immune system. I haven’t been same kind of department in Finland so it’s hard to compare it. But besides nurses here is also working kind of doctors assistants who takes blood samples, cannulates patients and helps doctors while operations. They don’t participate taking care of patients otherwise but still works at the ward for whole shift. I have seen bone marrow aspiration many times and central venous port implant operation once. I did some training with the book and they allowed me to insert needles in the ports.

On my free time I have made awesome friends from the same building as I live. I went to Oktoberfest in Munich, and it was way beyond my expectation. There was so much more to see than just beer, even though I have never drank that much beer… Visited Berlin twice, would love to go there again and again (picture from festival of lights). Frankfurt, Kassel just day trips. This time that I have here, really isn’t enough to see these beautiful places and discover everything.

        

Time flies when you have fun, but part of me already misses Finland.

-Emilia