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 Vukovar!

Hello from Vukovar, Croatia!

I’m doing my three month clinical practise here in Vukovar. This is a small and very cozy town situated right near the border of Serbia. Population is around 30 000 on the paper, but the actual number of people is lower. This town has pretty dark history because it was bombed down during the Croatian war in 1991 and some ethnic cleansing was done here by the Serbs during the occupation. You can still see some bullet holes in building walls and one burned down hotel. Nowadays people (especially young people) don’t really care if someone is serb or croatian, they just want to move on and aim for the future.

I’m working in a local hospital as a physiotherapist. Me and my classmates are only exchange students here at the moment, so  everyone here is eager to meet and spend time with us. People in the hospital has been very kind to us and always willing to help in whatever we need, whether it’s a car trip to local supermarket or getting a car to hire for weekends to tour around. I work in two shifts which differs from Finnish working culture, because in Finland physiotherapists usually works in only one shift.

I’m living in a brand new student dormitory 300 meters away from the hospital and 800 from the local university so the distance to work or university ain’t too bad. Other students in the dormitory have been really kind to us and are also willing to help with any problem we face. In spare time we usually hang out with people in the dorm or other people from the university.

All in all this time here has been really enjoyable and I think this gives me tons of good memories to bear with me. And maybe someday I’ll return this place and meet the people I call my friends, or maybe someday some of them will visit Finland! You never know.

Best regards, Iiro

Working in Theaters, Scotland, Ayr Hospital.

During the time I was in University Hospital Ayr, doing my Placement for six weeks, I had the opportunity to take care of real People as they went through an Operation. My supervisor was an Anesthetic Nurse so my job description was in that section too. I learned how to handle Patients who are scared and nervous of the upcoming operation, as we went to pick them to the Theaters. Anesthetic Nurse (at least in Scotland) arranges the Theater ready for every operation. Making sure that there is right kind of equipment, they are on the right side, everybody knows what’s coming and know what they should do. In Finland we might have this division a bit different. All the arrangements are done in the Operating Room before we went to collect the Patient. With the Patient we went straight to the Anesthetic Room, witch is connected to the operating Room but different area from it. There the Patient is put to sleep or have a local anesthesia, depending on the operation. Anaesthetist is the one, who does this all. Anesthetic Nurses are there to assist. During the Operation the Patient is under the Anaesthetist’s wach and after the operation Anesthetic Nurses help the Anaesthetist in the post-operative work and accompany the Patient to recovery ward.

There were seven different Theaters:

  • trauma
  • urology
  • general (x2)
  • orthopaedics (x2)
  • vascular

The Operations I accompanied with for example were: fistula, part removal of colon, prosthetics of hips knees and shoulders, hernia, TURP, amputation, gallbladder removal, evacuation of aorta, removal of sigmoid colon.  And these are only part of the operations.. 🙂

I absolutely loved working in Theaters!

All the best!

-Henna xx

Enjoying Scotland

Living in Scotland for 2,5 months gave a chance to see more than just the Hospital I had the placement in.. I worked from Monday to Friday so Weekends were off and that gave me the opportunity to go around and discovering what was around..

One beautiful spring weekend I decided to visit Ireland, Belfast. We (another Erasmus-student, from Finland) took a ferry from Scotland, Cairnryan. Buss drive to the Harbour itself was already so joyful. Weather was sunny, the drove was near coastline and there were tiny villages with lots of sheep all around. In Belfast we walked around the City, dropped in a Botanical Garden and had a blast!

 

 

Picture: Statue in front of Belfast City Hall

 

 

 

 

During the time in Scotland, I thought the weather would be rainier than it was. Actually it was mostly so lovely, sunny and bright, I even had to go and buy shorter clothes for the “heat”. Everything was blooming and I couldn’t get enough of the Nature around me.  I lived in student flats near the University of The West of Scotland. It was located by the River Ayr. To being so close to a River, the trees and everything were really soothing for walks and enjoying outdoors.

   

 

Now that I have been back to Finland for several months, I find myself longing back there.. And if everything goes planned, I will be visiting my old Home Town over there at least for short period of time. And wee meeting with all the great people I had the privilege to meet by the Placement. After visiting Ayrshire, I’m gonna rent a Car and drive the rest of the Country. Even though the driving on the “wrong” side of the road will take it’s time.. 😀

Things I miss from Scotland: Cheerful People, sarcasm, Fish and Chips, Rhubarb and Ginger Gin, fresh Fruits, Tennent’s beer, Sticky Toffee Pudding(!!!)

Things I missed in Scotland: Visiting Islands of Harris and Lewis. And didn’t see enough of the Highland Cattles.

Things that helps for the longing: Irn Bru. (Scottish soft drink. Second most popular drink, after whisky) And gladly You can find that some places in Finland too!

Oh, I almost forgot.. My supervisor bought a House during my Placement. And the most hilarious thing is that there is a Sauna in their new House! I told them everything I know about having a Sauna, but of course, when there is a lot of new information You can’t remember everything.. That’s why I wrote them a Practical Guide having a Sauna. 😀 It was 10 pages and Mark (the supervisor) was so touched by it, he even send me a message afterwards.. We all joked in tee brakes about the fact that we have a thing called Sauna-sausage. And I explained how you roll the sausage in tinfoil before going in. You place the wrap in to the hot stones and when you throw löyly, you throw it around the wrap. Must remember that beer is one of the most popular Sauna-drink. And You can throw a wee bit of it in to the kiuas as well.. (“Do not forget to drink enough water as having some Sauna-time, ’cause You should sweat alot in there.”) After a relaxing time in the heat, be cautious and take the foiled sausages of the kiuas and enjoy the warm sausages as a snack afterwards.

 

Cheers!

-Henna

 

Practicing in Torremolinos

Greetings from Spain. I have been here now over two months and I have only couple of weeks left. It’s crazy, time flies. When I arrived, I stayed two nights in a local hostel. The hostel wasn’t great experience. Somebody example stole my hygienic materials. Soon as I started my practice and luckily got my own apartment. I booked it online from Finnish owner. So communicating is easy when I can do it in my home language. The apartment is small but quite cheap and near a hospital, where I do my practice.

PaellaCaminito Del Rey oli upea

The hospital is same than where Tomas doing his practice. So I try to avoid telling all the same things. I have similarly been two weeks in a one place. I have done only morning shifts because I like to do them more. I have been in emergency, intensive care unit, operation theatre and surgical ward. The hospital is private so there is both of tourists and local people who has a insurance. So many of nurses speak a good English or at least little. Here is many differences compared to Finnish working culture. Workers have to buy and wash their own working clothes by themselves. So I have to do like that too. I don’t like this, I have example seen when somebody already has clothes on train. Some nurse said that a public one things are different because it’s not a business. Here in many unit still write things down but it’s chancing and in emergency works already by electric. I think that here is less workers in one unit and example in operation theatre isn’t at all anesthesia nurse like we have. Only a doctor who doesn’t always be on the spot. One time one patient almost woke up in middle of the operation. I know it sounds crazy.

Even the working here is little bit different than in Finland I have learned much about things like cannulation and taking a blood test and electrocardiogram. I have also seen many interesting treatment especially in operation theatre. There was a lot of plastic surgery, too. I didn’t like the idea of it even it was interesting otherwise. On summary I respect even more a Finnish healthcare than before. Our quality and standards of care are really high.
Kirurgisen osaston lääkkeitä. Kanslia on avoin ja periaatteessa kenellä vaan on mahdollisuus päästä käsiksi lääkkeisiin.

In my free time I spend time with my new friends and explore in a new places. I have example visited in Marbella, El Chorro, Gibraltar and Portugal. And next week I have purpose to go Africa with ferry. Besides, I spend a lot of time a local crossfit gym. There is so nicely people and training here is so much cheaper than Finland. I have also got visitors from Finland. My friends were here in September and my mom is here right now. The weather is here truly perfect. Even I miss many things in Finland, the weather isn’t include. I hope that I can bring the sunny with me when I come back to Finland.
Katukuva Fuengirolasta
-Jessi

Warm and beautiful Fuengirola

I moved to Fuengirola one week before the practice started. I wanted to get familiar with my new hometown. Now I have been here two months and I have one month left.

 

This far I have studied English in Aurinkorannikon seurakunta and gone to walk on my free time every evening. I have also planned some trips to other cities with my husband and daughter whose have visited in Spain. We have visit in Malaga, in Marbella and in Benalmadena.

My basic work day usually consists daycare for children. My working days are from Monday to Friday, when children daycare is open.  I have every weekend free and of course every evening, so I have quite much spare time. And because I’m in Spain I go very often to the beach and relax there.  Like I mentioned earlier I have been walking a lot, according my iphone watch I have walked about 600 kilometers so far.

I have enjoyed my time here. This life is so much different than in Finland. In summer time here is always warm and sunny and rarely rain. Here is very good food, friendly people and always something to do. Here is a beautiful landscape, nice sights and a wonderful sea.

Here is everything very cheap.  One-way bus trip was only 1,15€ in city. Food costs almost half than it does in Finland. Near by my apartment are lots of different restaurants. My favorite Spanish dish is tapas.

 

I hope that my last month will be as wonderful than first part of my trip. There are so much to see and experience.

 

Greetings from Costa del Sol.

 

I had been here over a month, before I figured out that most of the people, I have met has been Finnish. I was surprised about that fact. Fuengirola is far away and totally in the other side of Europe than Finland, even so its very easy to live here with almost only using Finnish. Here you can visit a Finnish doctor, food market, hair dresser, masseur, bar, dentist and of course Finnish church. It is possible to live here in a Finnish bubble with sun shining on it. And amazingly many, who has moved here, choose this kind of life. I met a couple that has lived here 25 years and don’t speak or even want to learn Spanish language. Local people think Finns as a bit mentally cold because they don’t take contact. And its difficult to take contact if don’t have a common language. However, Finns are accepted here because of the money they bring along. Of course, here is also Finns that are interested to integrate into Spanish culture and learn language. I was surprised because I know what is demanded about foreigners who wants to move Finland. There is a saying “maassa maan tavalla”, which means that you must assume the local habits and learn Finnish language if you want to live there. I don’t want to accuse anyone, but I honestly think that it would be more fun and multifaceted live if taken some of the local culture as a part of your own life.

Along with integration I have worked with loneliness and homelessness within my placement. Both issues appear my daily work here. Here are about thirty Finnish with no permanent place to live. They sleep outside, beg money and spend time in parks. We have met them, talk with them and helped them if possible. Often, they are pleased when you give them a moment and listen their story. Most of the people just walk past them with turning their look away.

Loneliness is seen within old people who has become a widow recently. They wheel sadness, tiredness and need someone to be with. There is a high risk that they are not able to get out from their apartment if not necessary. Our small cafeteria in the centre is great place for them to meet other people or even find a new friend. And we try to visit those who can’t reach the café right now.

My eating habits has become totally different here. During Spanish workdays its normal to grab a sandwich etc. after midday and another snack after work. Bigger meal is used to eat after sunset. In Finland I used to eat much more. Warm lunch at school or work and another one at home. Sometimes third meal at evening if needed. I would estimate that I eat less than half here compared to Finland. It must be the body heating due to cold that spends energy up north. Big change for body but it seems to be happy with it.

For me spare time is easy to spend here. From our apartment its only 200 meters to the seashore of Mediterranean and almost all services are as far. I enjoy meeting new people here. They are social and very friendly. Back in Finland I used to watch ice hockey and soccer when possible, but surprisingly here I can do that much more because of the Finnish restaurants and sport channels. I really didn’t expect that. And can you mention a better place to watch live football than Spain? And of course, at the end I must mention the sun. Its always present here, and biggest reason for Finnish people to move here. Maybe for me also.

Hot Torremolinos- Málaga

I arrived to Málaga for a couple of days before the practical training. I was located for those days at a hotel near the city of Málaga. The first thing to notice when I arrived, was the hot and humid climate.  I had to change my long trousers for shorts.

I visited the Old Town which was flocked with tourist. Moving in the tiny streets of the Old Town was slow. But the architecture of the buildings, along with their history dating back to the middle age made it worthy. The food is good and affordable. There are many bars and restaurants which are usually full. The locals also go out for a drink or two.

Figure 1 Photo from Málaga shopping street

There are many small shops around the centre of Torremolinos and you can find almost anything you want, also there are countless amounts of Chinese shops which sells from daily groceries to decorative objects. There shops are usually packed and full of items, with very narrow aisle.

I moved to Torremolinos the day before the practice started. I rented an apartment via online, from the centre of Torremolinos. The apartment was nice and cozy, unfortunately the very first night I heard a banging next door, and later an alarm set off. So, I had to call the police because of an attempted burglary, later I got informed that the house which was embargoed was already empty and probably the previous owners were trying to occupy the house.

Starting the practice

I went to a meeting with the head nurse from the Clinic I was going to do the practices. The head nurse told me that I should buy a nursing uniform. This was different than in Finland where students also use clothing given by the employee, because of sanitary rules. There was an epidemic outbreak weeks before I arrived and there were still cases of Listeria coming out in Andalucía and I was worried I had to wash my own clothing.

One-way bus trip was 1,55€, I went a week paying the single ticket. Then I bought a monthly ticket for the bus. The bus stopped every 20 minutes and took about 10 minutes to get nearby the clinic.  I had always my own lunch or dinner, and there was a store nearby open, if groceries were needed.

Figure 2 The uniform was inexpensive, bought it in a nearby Chinese shop.

I started my week with evening shifts, the first shift was nice, and I could see how the nurses interact with the patients and what kind of patients there is to take care of.  The interaction with the patients is warm and natural, although there are sometimes language barriers between the nurses and patients, but the patients get their treatment.  I paid attention to broad beds and small narrow passages, turning the beds in those passages needed skill. Also, the rooms were spacious and although there were usually two beds, only one bed was in use.  This was surely for the privacy of the patients.

The medication is given by room number, not by name. That can create confusion if there are two patients in the same room, but I suppose there is a good practice for that.   I used to have hand disinfectant in every room in my workplace, but I only have seen bottles of alcohol to be putted on gauzes., also the gauntlets must be taken from the office. For position changes there are no sliding linen, so we grabbed the patients, which is the way I learnt not to do it.

The nurses have given me the chance of putting IV cannulation, preparing medication and checking them. Two of four cannulations went well, although I couldn’t avoid blood spilling to the floor and patients’ bed. I learned much about IV cannulation with the nurse Bea.

I was supposed to do geriatric practice, but there is no geriatric ward on the hospital, the head nurse told me I was going to rotate the whole hospital from the inpatient ward, to surgery and urgencies. The inpatient ward was mainly patients going to a programmed operation, so it was mainly a surgery ward, the surgeries varied from beauty surgeries to cardiovascular surgeries. The age of the patients also varied from infants to elderly.  There were some patients who were brought by urgencies unit to take more evaluation on their condition.

The work on the ward was sometimes hectic, and to add some thrill, the doctors wrote all the procedures and care instruction with the medication by hand. We had a couple of moments where we couldn’t understand what the doctor had wrote. The nurses also wrote by hand all the medication that was given that day, there were no computers.  The third day I was giving independently IV medication to the patients.  The blood pressure was taken manually, because the electric one was broken, also the manual blood pressure was fixed but it didn’t fill well.  They told me that the situation in private hospitals like I was doing my practice was worse than in public hospital where for example alcohol hand gel was part of good aseptic procedures, but in the inpatients ward where I was there was no alcohol gel.

 

Paperwork

I received a month before the arrival the information for my practices. The University demands you to enroll yourself on the courses, and instructions were given. The first process was called the pre-enrollment where you selected the courses you do in the university, they sent ID and password for an incoming students’ website.

I went to the campus three times to take care of the enrollment, the third time I booked an appointment with the tutor to get the papers signed and enrollment happen. The area of the campus is around three metro stops, with wide desert areas

In the Clinic I wasn’t given a shift timetable but was instructed to come one week evening shifts and another week mornings.


Free time

The free time I spend outdoors walking with the locals and going to bars and meeting new people. The weather is hot and you can easily go on t-shirts in the night.

Figure 3 Me at the local gay club, Parthenon.

 

Kia Ora from New Zealand!

I started my practical training in Wellington, New Zealand in June and the training period lasts for 6 months. I am a fourth-year student and I am studying to be a Bachelor of Social Services, so I am planning to graduate this Christmas. My training placement is called Wellington East Girls’ College and I am an intern in Supported Learning class.

As an intern I am doing the same things as the teacher’s aids in the class. I support the students in their studies both in our own classes and also in mainstream classes, such as Future Pathways, Music and Arts. We also have couple of classes for supported students only, such as Life Skills and Colours of Sexuality. In addition, there are different kinds of therapies for the students in our class, for example Speech and Language therapy, Occupational therapy, Music therapy and RDA – Riding for Disabled.

I would not say that being a teacher’s aid in our class is a same thing that it would be in mainstream classes. It is really challenging, and I can definitely say that my education in Social Services has been a good help for me. In a class of 15 students with mental disabilities every day is different and you can never know when someone has a meltdown or when you have to act as a referee in a fight.

The working culture here is quite the same but quite different comparing to Finnish working culture. People are much more relaxed about things in general even though the rules do not always seem like that. For example, people might take sick leaves from work more easily (sometimes when they are not even sick) and a 30-minute lunch break might be 5 minutes or one hour, depending how the day is going. Lot of things are also just talked through, and many things people should know are not written down anywhere. This sometimes leads to me going to some events in two minutes warning and people forgetting things.

During my spare time I try to relax as much as possible. I also have two holidays during my training period. The first one I spent in South Island. The other holiday I am going to spend in Australia. During weekend I have also made smaller trips to closer towns here in North Island. During mid-summer (mid-winter here) I hiked on a small mountain. I will attach more photos below to show different places.

Student Nurse in Operation Theaters at Scotland, Ayr.

How wonderful life can be for having this kind of an opportunity..!

About me: I just turned 35 during my placement here in Scotland. I’m studying for my second occupation, to become a Nurse. I used to be an entrepreneur for 14 years, and I remember thinking what an awesome chance it is for those who can go abroad during their studies.. 😀 And look at me now! You never know where life might throw you.

I’ve been to Scotland once before, maybe 7 years ago, with my sister. We were on a holiday for a week. And during that time my I fell in love with this country. It makes sense now why I’ve always loved rain and small, quiet places, and kind, helpful people. -It’s how this is!

So when it came to my knowledge that there is a chance to go abroad the first thing I had to find out was – could it be Scotland? And ’cause it could, that was my aim.

The process of applying started in Autumn 2018 and we had a placement, with my class, in Finland at Christmas that i had to skip so I would have few options for Placement in here. That made some difficulties, personally, to understand what I’d be doing in here.. And because of that I understood, we do have this strict way of doing things and wanting to plan and know how things will go ect… 😀 But the worry was totally unnecessary. When I came here everything solved out the best way possible and people are at ease for adapting a new  situation.  I had to embrace that ability as well.. 😉

    

My sister came with me here(, of course, again. She loved the place just like I did.) to escort me. We had the chance to get familiar with my new hometown, find out where my new beautiful home was, how to get around and – most of all, enjoying Scotland.

Placement started on Mon 22nd of April, that was Easter Monday and I didn’t know at all what I would be against with because it was a day off for most people. Of course Emergency Theaters are always running but I didn’t yet know how.  Everyone were so welcoming when I walked in and took me with them. My own supervisor came to back shift, but ’cause there was another student for a first day as well, I got the first tour just like any local would have it. Anyhow the day was quiet (good thing for mankind) until in the afternoon.. There was a planned patient coming for washing of an Necrotising fasciitis. The washing was made under a General Anaesthesia. (This may sound awful for most, but for those who are in Nursing or in other Health -field, this is amazing..!) That was a great first day. (And FYI the Patient had the needed help and was doing better. ) 🙂

There will be more of those Operation later, but I’ll try to write the way how normal people write and are able to read. Without gagging.. 😛 -And of course, no one can be recognized.

But for now, cheerio!

-Henna 🙂

Saudações de Coimbra!

I study to be a nurse and I decided to come Portugal to do my practical trainings.

Six years ago I was studying to be a sport massager at Spain, Fuengirola and from there I made few weeks training period at south of Portugal, Algarve aria. So I had small touch of Portuguese culture before I came here, but I was curious to know and see more about it.

Coimbra is located between Porto and Lisbon, middle of Portugal. It is historical city and have been capital city of Portugal 1200-1500 century. Here is beautiful architecture, beautiful coffee places, cakes, beautiful clothes and people as well. Also here is good food and one of the most oldest University in Europe and University library.

Portuguese people are much more calm than Spanish and that passion and craziness I have missed  here a bit. Some people they say that Portuguese people are more like Finns than Spanish and that is quite true. They are calm but they like to drink a lot and then to be really crazy.

I feel the culture here is quite conservative, patriotic and family oriented. People are mostly nice and helpful but sometimes they act arrogantly.  I have been thinking that one reason for it is bad economic conditions were very poor in some places. The scarcity of resources was also noticeable in the hospital where I worked.

I do here two internships at two different hospitals. First one I already finished in Pediatric hospital. There I learned lot of information of different problems what children had and had chance to practice to make medicines and administrate them to patience’s. Mostly I liked my internship but had challenges too, like didn’t get so well along with my main tutor. That experience was tuff for me and specially because I didn’t know how I should act in strange culture as a student when my tutor hurt me by words. After my internship finished I had long discussion with my teacher and I learned a lot of this difficult situation mostly about myself, how to act in future if I will face similar kind of situation.

On my free time I have  travelled with my new Brazilian friend to Algarve, where I was six years ago. My dream was to see the sea and rocks and we manage to get there. Also I visited Porto with my friends, who have van. Those times I enjoyed a lot and I would like to travel more in future. But it is a contradiction because in other way I´m so chicken to travel alone. So I need to face my fears to get what I want.

Here is some pictures: