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 sunny and beautiful Porto!

My practical training

During my 2,5 months of practise in Porto, I have two practises: pediatrics and obstretics. Both practises took place in the biggest hospital of Porto, St. John Hospital  Hospital São João, which took me a few weeks to learn how to pronounce and still Portuguese people smile when I say it :D. Portuguese language has a lot of nouns that don’t exist in the languages that I speak, so it has been very difficult to even pronunciate some words.
The pediatric practise took place in a day hospital, where I prepared a lot of medication and learned about many chronical disaeases. The picture is from the pediatric practise where luckily me and my friend where on the same place! 🙂 The obstretic pra the babies have a black, thick hair! 😀

Freetime

The spare time in Porto has been really nice, the city is extremely beautiful and comfy at the same time. I’ve met a lot of nice people and made new friends who I like to spend my free time with. Here it is very natural to meet up by having dinner, and it’s quite cheap to eat out compared to Finland. I’m living with my friend and in our flat there is no wifi, so instead of netflix, we’ve been doing a puzzle of one thousand pieces.:D I warmly recommend it.
I’ve also done a bit of travelling in Portugal and after my practise I’m going to travel around Portugal and Spain before coming back to Finland.

 

 

 

 

Views of Porto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A a good daytrip to Guimaraes with some other exchange students, who I spend time with weekly.

 

 

 

Studies and practise compared to Finland

Even though I’m doing a practise in the hospital, I also have classes at school and I’ve got to know to Portuguese students. Their mentality to studying is a bit different, and grades are more important. They also get grades from their practises on a scale of 0-20, whereas in Finland the practise is either accepted or not. It seems that the students put a lot more work into their presentations and are well prepared. I think their skills of argumenting are more advanced since they have to give a proper feedback about others presentations.

In the hospital the things work pretty much in the same way as in Finland. Nurses come to work, do the work and go home.There are some differences though: or me it was confusing to realise that the medication is not behind locked doors like it’s in Finland.

The nurses are usually not very friendly to students and to the Erasmus students they don’t like to look in the eye too much. 😀 Most don’t speak English and some of them just don’t want to. The teachers don’t speak English either, so the other students are translating if needed. It is quite challenging to work without being able to talk in Portuguese, but there are also very funny situations that come from using the few Portuguese words I know + ”the sign language”.

The nurses have been striking a lot this year and are demanding better working conditions. They don’t get paid extra of evenings, nights, weekends, holidays or the years of experience. Even though there are a lot improve for nurses in Finland, this is giving a bit of perspective of how well things are for nurses in Finland..

All in all, I’ve loved being in Portugal, it is an interesting culture and I wouldn’t mind staying longer. On the other hand, I’m happy to go home where I have a warm shower and in every small talk situation I don’t have to say: ”Yes, I’m from Finland, it’s very cold and dark in there and we’re all very very blond.”

 

Porto locates to the coast of Atlantic and the sunsets are simply outstanding.

 

 

-Heljä

Mela, in Malta…

Practical training

I’m doing a three month practical training in Malta. Those three months are divided to three placements, each lasting four weeks. That has given me a nice overview about physiotherapy in Malta.


Maltese fishing boats “Luzzus” in Marsaxlokk.

Spare time

I am working morning shifts from Monday to Friday, as physiotherapists in public hospitals most often do. It gives me the evenings and weekends off.

I came here with my wife and son, so most of my spare time we spend together. Sometimes we go around Malta and see all the interesting and beautiful places but most of the time we do what we would back home, spend time in playgrounds, go around shops and flea markets, eat out, hang around in our home etc. of course now in a totally different environment.

I have made many friends with other Erasmus students and I/we also spend time with them. Fortunately we’ve had many visitors from Finland and it’s been nice to go around Malta with them also.

Blue Lagoon, Comino.

Differences with Finland

Working as a physiotherapist in Malta is mostly the same as doing it in Finland. Techniques are the same and in hospitals physio’s work mainly on morning shift. I think the biggest difference is the paperwork. Because actually there is quite a lot of actual true paperwork. In Finland all the medical files are digital and you add new reports straight to an electronic medical record softwares like Pegasos, but here it is all still done on paper.

View from the hospital office.

Summary

It has been a very interesting, educational and in every way a good experience. My Erasmus experience has most probably been very different from others experiences in Malta, due to that I came here with my family. Malta offers something for everyone and I recommend coming here for Erasmus to anyone who is open to different cultures and experiences. Malta truly is something different, compared to Finland or other northern European countries.

Caw!
-Markus

Finalmente aquí

Practical training 

I´m in practical training in Tenerife, in Santa Cruz. I study nursing and this is my last practical training. First weeks I was in health center because I had to learn some skills I haven´t learn in Finland. For example taking blood samples: I have done it only once in the school 2 years ago. Secondly i needed to learn Spanish quite well before the practising in hospital. These last weeks I´m in the university hospital,  in traumatology ward. This is very interesting. Other nurses don´t speak English much so we communicate with Spanish language. I think I have learned to speak Spanish quite well and other nurses and patients understand me.

 

 

 

Spare time in Spain 

There are many activities in Tenerife. Hopefully I have spare time every weekends. I´m grateful because me and my Finnish friend spend our exchange in the same destination country. When we have spare time we usually go take the sun to the beach or sea water pools. We are very lucky because here is everyday at least 22-25 degrees. Three weeks ago we were in Teide  (the volcano that is the highest peak in Spain) with our Spanish friend. We have met Spanish students and been hanging out with them.

 

 

 

There are many shopping places in Tenerife. Santa Cruz is the best shopping city in whole Tenerife. There are many shopping streets  and commercial center in Santa Cruz. Clothes and food in restaurant is cheaper than in Finland. That´s why we can go eat to restaurant more often than in Finland.

 

 

Compared to Finland

Practising in the university hospital in Spain is quite same than in Finland. There are quite same treatment methods and aseptics is important also in Spain. Even if I work in the different culture, there are similarities in practicalities and ethics laws. All in all I think Finland is more advanced with health system than Spain does: because of technology.

 

 

 

 

Hilsen fra Danmark!

Oh, how time flies by! I have been here in Roskilde for three and a half months now and soon it is time to come back home. First of all, I have to say that I really love Denmark, not only because this is so beautiful country, but because the people here are so friendly and the whole atmosphere here is really relaxed and calming. It is all about hygge! But now, let’s get to the point. I am here studying course called Children at Risk at the University College Absalon. The course is expressly designed for exchange students and consists of three modules. The emphasis is on social pedagogical work with children and youth. In short, this course is all about human rights, children rights, early childhood education and special education, inclusion and exclusion and different methods in social work.I came here with very high expectations and now after two modules I must say that I am slightly disappointed. Basically, we are learning a bit of this and that but not really going deeper in the subjects. But that is part of Danish pedagogy: you have to find out yourself what is important and interesting for you and then go and do your own research. Secondly, the Danish education system is all about freedom: if you don’t feel like going to classes you don’t have to go there and you won’t be punished for that. I.e. if you are ill and skip the class, you don’t have to write ten-page essay to compensate your absence. This system shows that pedagogues here rely on students, who are seen as responsible adults and it really doesn’t serve anybody’s interests to give extra assignments. And third thing about the education: if you don’t like teamwork, never ever come here for exchange! We do everything in groups, so during this three and a half months I’ve had only one individual assignment. Honestly, one!

 One thing I have really enjoyed is that we do lot of field visits and we have lots of guest lectures from different kind of institutions – from Denmark and around Europe. For me the field visits have been the most educative and interesting. Visits are a great opportunity to see how services are produced here and what kind of methods are used with clients. We have students from eight different countries, representing six different profession. So, this is a great chance to practice multi-cultural and -professional work. It is also interesting to compare differences and similarities of social services and legislations.

Our study schedule is quite loose, so I have plenty of spare time. Some of that time I of course have to use for school assignments but still I feel that I have more time to do other things than back at home. We do a lot of things together: go different kind of events and parties, watch movies, hang out and play games, have a dinner together etc. The city of Roskilde is small and cozy. We got bikes from our school so it has been easy to investigate neighborhoods nearby. Here is lot of great running trails with nice views so I have been really motivated to run. On weekends, I usually do some traveling. I have visited in several different castles like Kronborg, Egeskov and Frederiksborg. Since Copenhagen is not that far from Roskilde and is easily accessible by train, I spend a lot of time there. At this point it is one of my favorite cities, there is always something happening. Every time I visit there I find something new and exciting and I still have lot of exploring to do!

Med venlig hilsen,

Johanna

Osijek, Croatia – a small big city

Osijek – A small big city

When I started to plan my training abroad, Croatia wasn’t my first choice. Deciding to come here for a traineeship was quite a gamble because I didn’t know a lot of things about Croatia or Osijek in general. Now it is the last week of my stay, and it has been an experience that I’ll never forget. I’m happy and thankful that I’ve had a chance to work and live in this place and learn about it’s culture and way of living.

I’m staying in a small city called Osijek. It has been a big industrial city in the past and you can still see it. The river Drava flows through the city, making it a perfect place for fishermen. And  not only the river, but the numerous of parks here really warm a nature lovers heart. Osijek has a long history and you can still see and feel it when you walk along the streets. One of my favorite places here is Tvrda. It’s an old part of the town that has been kept and partly renovated to look as it was originally built. There you can find a lot of cafes and bars and a few interesting museums.

What I love most about Osijek, is that even though it is a quite small town, they have everything they need here. You can walk or cycle anywhere and while doing that see beautiful places and buildings around you.

My Traineeship

So, I study emergency care in TAMK and I came to do my surgical and community nursing training here. I didn’t know much about the hospital or what my training will include beforehand, so I didn’t have much expectations.

The hospital of Osijek is a medium sized central hospital of this area in Croatia. I spent there six weeks, every week in a different surgical department. Because of my interest in emergency care, my favorite departments were trauma ward and trauma control. I also really enjoyed seeing the operating rooms and to follow the operations they proceeded. I had very good mentors on every department and I had a lot of good conversations about health care with the local nurses and doctors. All in all, people were very welcoming to me and I could always ask questions and discuss things that I found interesting. All the workers didn’t speak English, but they tried their best. With a bit of body language and creative ways of explaining things you can come a long way.

The last 4 weeks I had in community nursing, it included two weeks in home nursing, one week in pediatrics reception and one week in cardiology. In home nursing, I was doing some regular check-ups with another nurse, it was interesting to see people’s homes, but I couldn’t really do much because most of the visits were about interviewing the patients and most of the patients didn’t speak English. In the pediatrics reception, I had a very learnfull time. I learnt a lot about how to check children’s normal development and about the common sicknesses. The doctor there was super helpful and nice.

The training itself was different than I’m used to. I have some previous work experience in nursing, so I don’t think that my clinical skills were improved so much, but I got some new perspectives in nursing and got to see many things I’ve never seen before.

My freetime

The good thing about Osijek is that it is surrounded by other interesting cities. You can rent a car and travel around Croatia and its neighbor countries. I’ve been on weekend visits to Zagreb, Pecs and Budapest and I still have some places I’d like to see and experience! If you are willing and able to drive here, renting a car is a good option. It’s not very expensive especially if there is a bigger group going. Of course there are also buses for weekend trips.

These pictures are from Pecs Hungary. A small city 80 km away from Osijek. I hadn’t heard from this city before but I strongly recommend visiting it. Lovely architecture, a stunning cathedral and much more. It isn’t a tourist city but worth visiting.

The capital city of Croatia. In Zagreb, you can find different museums, a lot of restaurants and bars, gift shops etc. I recommend you visit the Zagreb 360. Up there you get a view of the whole city. Also, Maksim park was beautiful.

If you want to stay in Osijek, you can find a bunch of lovely cafes and bars and if you are interested in history, here are some very good museums. And if you get sick of eating and drinking at cafes and restaurants, all the parks and the river that I told you about earlier makes Osijek also a nice place to exercise.

FINLAND vs CROATIA

I think it is quite hard to start comparing Croatian work life to Finnish. We have a lot of similarities but also our differences. Croatia may not be as developed as Finland but its heading to the same direction. The biggest difference I’ve experienced here is that the whole atmosphere, not only at work, but in general is more relaxed. I had really big problems at the beginning to adjust to the laid-back attitude. After all I think my exchange here has helped me to loosen up a little bit with everything.  It has been a positive experience for me to see how health care system and practical work are done here. I think I can appreciate the medical schools, our nursing education and our state of health care, and its techniques and technology much more than before.

-Vendi

Grüße aus Salzburg, Österreich

The city of Salzburg

I am a second year nurse student and I’m completing two mandatory internships in Salzburg. The internships are clinical nursing and homecare, and the first one I had at the University Hospital of Salzburg on gynecological ward.

Festung Hohensalzburg from Kapuzinerberg 

Working with the nurses was more challenging than I expected: I was hoping to get guidance in English, like I was told back in Finland. Soon I realized that this was not the case. Nurses on the ward spoke very little English, and few of them only used German while speaking with me. There was an opportunity to improve my German skills (even though the local dialect is very different from the common German we were taught at school), but regardless of this opportunity I really feel like I did not receive enough guidance to improve my nursing skills.

Mirabell Palace and its gardens

My working experience in Finland is not very vast, so it is hard to compare the working cultures between Austria and Finland, at least not in detail. What I can say is: working days here are longer, most of the time twelve hours, and on my ward nurses only had one break a day. I had a belief that the laws concerning the breaks during the working hours were very similar to Finnish ones, but once I got here I was told nurses on the ward didn’t have time to have any more breaks.

Nordkette, Innsbruck

All in all, the first internship was not the most enjoyable of experiences, but I have high hopes of the second one. I’m enjoying my time a lot more in the homecare. The work is more relaxed in here than at the ward, and my colleague speaks excellent English and gives me consistent guidance that I need to become better at my work.

River Inn, Innsbruck

On my spare time I’ve tried to travel as much as I can. Austria is a very beautiful country, and there’s so much to see. Salzburg itself has a rich and long history, which I am interested to explore and learn about. The city lies between two small mountains and Festung Hohensalzburg, an iconic castle on one of them. Salzburg is a small city, it doesn’t take too many days to see more than one side of it, thus I have to use every free weekend traveling in other Austrian cities and near regions.

Dawn in Salzburg

Olá! Greetings from Portugal!

Hello Finland!

I study to be a nurse and I wanted to do my intership in other country. So here I am, in Portugal, city called Coimbra. Sebtember and specially October have been so warm; over 30 degrees most of the days.  No complaints…

 

Work place

I work at a university hospital at the infectious department. In the ward, there is lots of different kind of patients; HIV, pneumonia, cancer, drug users etc. I have done so many different things, for example taking blood examples, treated the wounds, diluted antibiotics and I have given intravenous medication to patiens. 

 

Free time

Coimbra is pretty small city here in Portugal but still there is something to see. The university is very famous and popular. The school was built in 1290. It’s oldest school in Portugal.

Also Santa Clara bridge is beautiful. Rio Mondego- river flows through Coimbra under the Santa Clara bridge. From there you can see all those colorful buildings and beautiful landscape. 

I have travelled few times in here Portugal. I have been in Figuera da Foz and Porto. One of my classmates from Finland came here and she is living in Porto. Figuera da Foz in near to the beach. Coimbra is inland so it is nice to visit the seafront sometimes. I am planning to go to Aveiro and Lissabon soon also. 

We also booked a trip to Paeva Walkways- event. There we went to this amazing park. Paiva Walkways are located on the left bank of the Paiva River, in Arouca municipality, Aveiro. There is route what is 8 km long and that provide a walk “untouched”, surrounded by unique beauty of landscapes, in an authentic natural sanctuary along the brave waters downhills.

 

What is different

I think the ward in the hospital itself is pretty similar than in Finland. In our ward, there is 29 beds for patiens. In morning shift works five nurses, three nurse assistant and several doctors. Nurse assistans differs from our practial nurses. Nurse assistants just help nurses if they need help. They are not allowed to do anything by themselves. You don’t need any kind of education to be an assistant; you learn when you work. Here nurses do lots of things. Some wards in Finland, nurses don’t take blood samples anymore. And nurses and doctors works together. Here they doesn’t.

The hierarchy is strongly exposed. Doctors are almost like God and students are lowest ranked. Even though they said that in Finland we are quiet and shy people, still we are friendly and openminded. Here not so many are interested from students or wants to know who we are etc. They don’t speak english, even if they can. 

In general, I think here people are nice and friendly and helpful. If you ask something, at least they try to help you (sometimes they just tell anything, just to get rid of you 😀 ). And ofcourse here they are “slow” as in the West European countries. Nurses comes to work like 10mins late every day, and that’s okay. If you ask something important, they answer you “don’t worry about it”.

But still, I like Portugal. Maybe we can learn to be little more flexible and relaxed… 😉

Love,

Jonna

From heat to snowfall and back

I stay three months in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. My host university HFU offers education mainly for business and engineering students. I’m doing my internship in local laboratories, first four weeks at a clinical laboratory and then eight weeks at a research laboratory at the university. It has been very interesting to see how is the laboratory work in Germany like and also to compare it to the Finnish system. Laboratory field is very international and many principles are similar in both countries. Even so I have found some differences: the information systems and sample handing are organized differently, for example.

The weather in the Black Forest has been very changeable and it has also affected our plans for the weekends. However, I have done many unforgettable trips in the southern Germany and near its borders in Austria, Switzerland and France. Some of the trips were organized by the university but I have also planned some of them together with the other international students. It’s easy to travel by train in Germany and the group tickets are also very cheap. One of the best Saturdays we spent in Konstanz, on the shores of the lake Bodensee. It was a perfect, sunny summer day. We hired pedal boats and enjoyed the heat.

It has been a bit surprising to notice that many Germans don’t speak English. Fortunately I’ve studied some German but for a few years I haven’t had to use the language so I have forgotten almost everything. But even the basic knowledge has been very useful for me and I have been able to refresh my language skills during my stay. It has been great to notice that I can live in another country and communicate in foreign languages without any bigger problems. This experience has made me more self-confident. But of course the best thing is an opportunity to get new, international friends and learn about their cultures.

Continue reading From heat to snowfall and back

Grüße aus Deutschland!

We (Ina and Maria) are doing this postcard together, because we are working in the same place and living together in a same city.

We came to Germany to do our practical training in a private international kindergarten. We are staying in Düsseldorf and the kindergarten is located in Meerbusch, about 9km from our apartment. Luckily the public transport here is very good ant it takes us only approximately half an hour to get there.

The kindergarten has about 65 children, 6 employees and of course the head of the daycare center. There are three different groups; the nursery group (4 month-3 years), the kindergarten group(2-3years) and the preschool group(4-6years). We are working daily, excluding the weekends, from 9am to 4pm, but we work in different groups every week. The staff and the children took us in very well and we could see how ecxited they were that we came there.  The days go past so quickly and there is so much to do. But of course in a good way. We have been here now for four weeks and only three weeks are left. The biggest barrier that we had to overcome was that we had no common language with most of the children. They speak either German, Japanese or Chinese and just a few children understands/speaks a little bit of English. The same thing is with the staff, only 3 of the 6 employees speaks English. So body language is an important tool for us. Fortunately working with children is quite easy like that. We have also learned some basic daycare phrases in German, so communication is getting easier day by day.

Düsseldorf is a big town and there lives 604 527 people. Here is a lot to see and to do for us in the free time. When the weather is good, we have been exploring the city. For example here is a huge park called Nordpark where we usually go for walks and see the beautiful gardens in there. And it is only a a few kilometers from our apartment.  We also like going to the city center, where there is a lot of shopping opportunities and good restaurants. There is also the old town, where we like to go to just hang out and see other people. This time a year here is also a lot of tourists, so expecially when the weather is good, the city center and the old town are packed with people.

The working culture in the kindergarten we work in is quite similar than in Finland. The daily routines and schedule also goes almost the same comparing to Finland.  A couple big differences we have noticed is that only the youngest children takes  a nap during the day. And because the days can be long for the children (even 7.30am to 7pm) the children that does not sleep, might even snooze while playing etc. Also the food culture is a lot different than in Finland. It is normal food in here but the way wee see it, it`s not as versatile and healthy than what we are used to eat in finnish daycares.

  

We are looking forward the rest of the weeks in here and are excited to learn even more from the Germanys culture and early childhood education.

Tschüss,

Ina Schmidt and Maria Salonen

Éirinn go Brách!

I spent nine months in Ireland, more specifically in Tralee.  The town is small, yet it has everything you’ll need: Penneys (Primark) and other shops, lots of pubs ranging from traditional Irish pubs to nightclub-like venues and restaurants. There’s also a beautiful, peaceful park in the middle of the town and it can be used to hang out or for sports.

On the first semester I was an exchange student in Institute of Technology Tralee, studying social care, early childhood education and youth & community work. One semester lasts about 4,5 months, the first semester started in the beginning of September with the orientation week (parties, bbq and all kinds of events every day) and we had some of our final exams in the end of December and the rest of them in the beginning of January. On my second semester in Ireland I was doing an internship at Kerry Parents and Friends Association. KPFA offers residential care and day services for people with intellectual disabilities. Doing an internship in Ireland was also really great, I am happy that I got to experience that.

Sonja Kangas foto.
The famous Blennerville Windmill of Tralee

Tralee is quite small, yet lively town in Kerry. Anyway, without all the other students to spend your time with, you’d be bored. Getting to know other students is easy – IT Tralee has lots of different societies and sport clubs such as rock climbing, surfing and gaelic football, most of them for free. There’s also a water park (Aquadome), cinema and lots of pubs with traditional Irish music.

Sonja Kangas foto.
Killarney

Kerry is one of the best-known counties there on the southwest of Ireland, with lots of mountains and beautiful nature. The national park in Killarney is definitely worth a visit, for sure. Anyway, Tralee is not such a big city, so even from the town centre, you will be able to see the mountains and the beautiful Irish nature. You don’t have to go too far from the centre if you want to see sheep, mountains, cows and get to know the countryside of Ireland.

Sonja Kangas foto.
Tralee town centre

 

Sonja Kangas foto.
Ireland certainly has some of the most beautiful landscapes you could wish for. Ring of Kerry is a popular route going through the coast of Kerry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Institute of Technology Tralee is quite small, but they’ve got a lot of international students from all around the world – there are about 3500 Irish students in ITT and 400 international students. During my Erasmus year in Tralee I got to know people from so many different countries even though you wouldn’t expect that!

Studying in ITT felt more like being back to secondary school again – you need to know lots of things by heart, always attend all the lectures and in the end of the semester you’ll have the final exams. Anyway all my lecturers were nice and extremely helpful, they also helped me a lot with my internship even though they didn’t need to. That’s what Irish people are like – they’re kind, helpful and always up for a good craic (=fun)… and that is exactly the reason why Ireland is such an amazing country.

Sonja Kangas foto.
Kilkee Cliffs