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Bon dia!

I thought, that now is a good time to write this postcard, because it’s raining here at this moment. So, I am a nurse student, and I am doing my training in Spain, in the city called Manresa.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle manresa
Picture of Manresa, from Google

I am doing my training in big hospital. I don’t have one specific place in the hospital, but I have toured in several units during my training. It has been very nice, because I have seen and learned a lot of new things. I have, for example, seen and participated in treatments of cancer, different kind of endoscopies and treatments of surgery wounds.

The biggest problem has been the language. I don’t really speak Spanish and even less Catalan, and people here hardly speak English. Lucky for me, every unit I have been, has been person who has been able to speak English. And best of all, everyone wants to learn to speak English.

The things I have been noticed here in working culture, is that nurses really care about their patients. Or at least that is how I feel, when I see them working here. For example, in oncology unit, nurses really know them patients and their history, and they listen and speak with patients really much.

One thing, which was little bit a shock for me, was that here is only one break during the working shift, when there are often two in Finland. And in morning shift the break is breakfast, not even lunch. Now my stomach has started to get used to it, but first I was always hungry.

Picture taken when I was leaving work.


My spare time. Well usually after training days I come home and take a nap. It really isn’t so easy to do training in different country and in a foreign language!
But at weekends we usually travel to Barcelona with my friend. Manresa, where we are living, is really nice but pretty small, so here is not so much to see, and it is easy to travel to Barcelona by train.

Picture taken in Barcelona

The finest place so far has been the Montserrat Mountains. Views from the mountains are incredible.

Picture taken when we were visiting in Montserrat Mountain

All in all, I can say that I am very happy that I came here!

Habari! Greetings from Kenya

Now when my trip has reached its’ halfway point it’s good to tell you something about hakuna matata in Kenya. I’m doing 10 weeks working placement as part of my emergency nursing studies. Here my objectives involve medical, surgical and pediatric nursing. Apart from the hospital work I’ve also worked with an organization that helps for example local kids who live on the streets.

First 3 weeks I spent in medical ward where we had 3-4 nurses, 25-35 patients and depending on a day 2-15 nursing students (both university and diploma). Students took care of the patients very independently (including iv medication). Sometimes their attitude even was that ”you learn from your mistakes”. The system felt very unorganized. People were never on time, they consumed time in wrong things (the morning report took always over 1 hour) and when it comes to asepsis they used same brannulas several times, didn’t have enough gloves or alcohol swaps but still told us not to carry dirty sheets but put them on a trolley instead.

Medicines, medical ward, patient files

In renal unit things were a bit better but still the sterile procedures weren’t sterile at all. Doctors and nurses have a lot of knowledge but I guess the lack of equipment affects also their working moral. Also it’s a bit hard to treat a patient who can’t afford the examinations you’ve ordered for them (for example ECG) and the hospital doesn’t always have the medication you have prescribed to the patient. If the hospital doesn’t have it, relatives should buy it. If relatives won’t buy it, patient won’t get it at all.

Kakamega rain forest

After a week in surgical ward they asked feedback from me. I talked about their way of documentation. Why are they writing that things happened at the ideal time when in reality the morning medication was administered at 1 pm. I also wondered their way of treating and preventing bedsores. There’s a timetable on the wall of the ward where’s also written the times when patients should be turned if they can’t do it themselves. Still I didn’t see anybody doing that. After wound dressing the patients were left just as they were: lying on the bedsores on their back.

The son of the chief of Masai tribe and me with a lion hat

Here we have a great team of seven Finnish nursing students from Vaasa, Mikkeli, Seinäjoki and Tampere. We didn’t really know each other very well before the departure but already the night we spent awake at the Nairobi airport made us a really good team. Together we went on a safari to Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara. A great experience that you cannot miss if you travel this far! Then we visited Kakamega rain forest and during our week off we’re going to travel to the east coast to enjoy the white beach and the ocean.

Giraffes in Masai Mara

Kisumu is one of the largest cities in Kenya. When you’re walking in the streets of the city center you’ll hear people greeting you (”Hello, how are you?”), calling you mzungu (a word meaning a white person in kiswahili) and staring at you. The prizes of tuktuks, fruits, clothes in the street markets are always higher for you than for the locals. You need to master the art of bargaining.

If you want to know more feel free to follow my blog (in Finnish)!

Life in Linköping

During my exchange in Linköping I have had three very different placements, and 2,5 weeks of learning project at the University of Linköping. First 4 week placement was in Attendo Care in Linköping, the second 3 week one in the city nearby, Norrköping, and the last one at Linköping university hospital in geriatric ward. So I’ve seen a lot of patients with all ages, disordes and diagnosis. The ultimate best place was in Norrköping primary Care at the rehabilitation ward where I had a great mentor! I almost wish I could go back and work there, but my language skills are not good enough to meet patients my own. The language felt hardest with elderly people, when there was  barely  any communication between me and the patients. So, for me it was a lot of observing. In Norrköping I could develope my physiotherapy skills more due to younger patients and an awesome mentor.


Rest homes in Attendo were beautifully decorated fot the patients.
Office-dog Hermes at Attendo.
Basic treatment room in Norrköping Rehab öst.

On my free time I like to go to the gym called Campushallen, which is the best gym I’ve ever seen! It inspires working out several times a week and it’s only 20 minutes walk from my apartment.


Campushallen has everything!

We spend a lot time together with the exchange group and corridor mates. Usually on weekends there’s a party somewhere everybody goes to, usually at Flamman. With corridor mates we play cards and board games, drink wine or watch movies. Every other Sunday it’s cleaning Sunday and everybody takes their part of cleaning the whole corridor’s common spaces which is nice.

Friends from different countries.

On weekends I’ve also tried to travel as much as possible. After the first placement we had a week off with the other pt-student from TAMK, so we headed to Oslo and Lofoten Islands. Norway is so beautiful, it was one of the most best trips I’ve made! I also visited Göteborg, Stockholm, Vendelsö, Norrköping and Copenhagen.

Lofoten Islands, Norway.
Beautiful sunset in Lofoten Islands.
Stockholm’s old city and narrow streets.
Norrköping’s University is located around the waterfalls and river.
Colourful Nyhavn in Copenhagen.
Railwaystation in Göteborg. Most of the travelling I’ve done by train, so many railwaystations has been seen.

If I would compare the working and study cultures in Sweden and Finland, I wouldn’t find that much differences. Because the health care system is so similar to Finland, it has been easy to blend in during my placements. The one hard thing during the placements and project at the University has been the language. Communication with patients and teammates was hard on times, but we managed it through with the mixture or english, swedish and body language. Well, if I would say one thing, swedes seem to spend more time on morning and evening fika. They like to take it easy during coffee breaks and have conversations about anything, which is kind of nice.

Fika time!


From the Green Island of Ireland

Last days in Ireland. 3 months went by quicker than I expected. There was so much to  do, see and experience, and so much was still left undone.

I came to Dublin at the beginning of January. First 4 weeks was spent studying Radiography in UCD. We had courses on Irish Culture and Cardiac Interventional Imaging. The first course was more about getting us Erasmus students familiar with Ireland, Irish Health Care System and what’s the role of Radiographer in Ireland. The course also included some trips and cultural events, like trying out Gaelic sports and a bus trip to Wicklow Mountains. The Cardiac course was an interesting one, as we don’t have a course specializing to Cardiac Imaging back at home. We covered subjects like anatomy, CT imaging, MRI imaging and Cardiovascular imaging in CV lab. The theory was interesting, especially since we had quite a lot of guest lecturers who were professionals at their own field.

After the month in school we had clinical practice for 7 weeks in a local hospital. I was in Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin. It was fun and interesting to see how the Irish health care system and Radiology department works. We had practice in several modalities, the modality was changing every week and sometimes even faster than that. It was great practice, although the role of a student is more like an observer here in some modalities. It was also very good opportunity to practice my English skills, although sometimes it was a challenge to understand the thick Irish accents… 🙂

My free time was spent mostly by traveling. I wanted to use the opportunity to see the country beyond Dublin, now that I’m here. So I tried to travel a lot. I went to see Cliffs of Moher, Newgrange, Hill of Tara, Waterford, Cork, Galway, did a roadtrip around Connemara… I also went to Scotland and visited Edinburgh, Inverness and Stirling. The pictures are from those journeys:

Cliffs of Moher
From the top of Blarney Castle.
This and the next photos are from Connemara.

Authentic Connemara pony in Connemara.

Good luck to anyone going on exchange to Ireland, you’ll love it. It’s a great place with amazing, lovely people.

Back to snow and cold, yay. 🙂


What’s the craic?

Eramsus exchange in Dublin is nearly over. Three months in Ireland just flew by. I’ve been studying, working in a hospital and most important of all, meeting new people and travelling.

We had two courses here: Irish Radiography and culture, and Cardiac Interventional Imaging. There was seven weeks of clinical training included in cardiac imaging course. We had most of the lectures in January, and from February on it was all clinical. There weren’t many schooldays, but when there were, the days were long with multiple lecturers and not so easy subjects. You just had to try to keep up and make some notes. All the assignments we had was clinical related and had to be done during or at the end of clinical (at the end of Erasmus). And there was A LOT to do. More work than I would have ever done if I’d just stayed in Finland.

Culture course included a day of playing gaelic games – so much fun!

I had my clinical training in Mater Misericordiae university hospital in the centre of Dublin. It’s a big hospital, and about 60 radiographers work there. I worked in different modality every week, and it was nice to see so many different things in just seven weeks. Radiographers work in Ireland is basically the same as in Finland, so it was easy to start working in Ireland. In some modalities the work differs from Finalnd, and as a student I couldn’t do as much as I would’ve done in Finland, but on more familiar ones I got to do even more.  

In my spare time I’ve travelled around ireland, and tried to see as much as possible. I’ve been to Kilkenny, Cork, Killarney, Galway, Limerick… Just to name a few. So pretty much travelled all around Ireland. Surprised myself with the fact that I like everything outside Dublin better than Dublin itself. Much to do with the fact that Dublin is so big, and it takes ages to get anywhere. So I’ve also spent a lot of my spare time sitting in Luas, trying to get somewhere.  There is still so much to see in Ireland, so I will definitely be back someday. 😊

Ireland is full of pretty little villages.
And nice views.


Glad Påsk och hälsningar från Sverige!

Time flies when you have fun and lot to do. I have only two weeks left here in Linköping. Like you can guess, the culture and scenes here are pretty much same than in Finland and that’s one reason why this city has been feeling like a second home. The other reason has been friendly local people and other exchange students who have made these three months so funny and unforgettable.

Stora torget Linköping
Street of the city center and my home street
Buildings of Gamla Linköping

I live in a corridor apartment in a student housing area. I have my own room with own bathroom, but kitchen is shared with other seven students. And  have to say it hasn’t been very luxurious… Now I see that everyone don’t have the same view of the cleanness and hygiene.

My corridor with a messy kitchen…

In the beginning of our exchange we had orientation week together with other exchange students who’re studying medicine, nursing or physiotherapy.  We played together funny games, studied Swedish and were introduced to the university of Linköping. It was easy and nice way to get to know each others.

Picture of my exchange student group, they are amazing people!

Working with a different language has been hard and has taken a lot of energy and effort. But I think it has given more than taken! My first placement was in Pain and Rehabilitation center, and my patients consists mostly of adults suffering from chronic pain. I got chance to instruct physical training and mindfulness to the patient group I saw three times a week. I had also individual patients who I examined and made them personal training programs. Professionals worked in teams of doctors, occupational therapist, psychologist and physiotherapist, so it was great opportunity also learn to work in an interprofessional working group. First I felt myself completely lost with the patients because of the language, but after couple weeks it got easier and easier.  I was happy that they gave me much responsibility and own patients because that’s the way I can learn the most.

After my first four-week practical wee took train to Oslo with my Finnish classmate. From Oslo we flew to Lofoten islands. It was so breathtaking beautiful there, no words to describe the landscape!

Beautiful landscapes of Lofoten

After our holiday in Norway, I had theoretical part in Linköping’s university with swedish students. It was interprofessional course and handeled of quality improvement with healt care. My group worked in Campus Norrköping, which is in the city next to Linköping. The city and campus were super beautiful!


Last three weeks I worked with home rehabilitation. I was surprised how relaxed it was. They had max four patients for a day and long coffee and lunch breaks. But it was interesting to work at patients’ home and rehabilitate them in their normal living environments.  Next two weeks I will spend in the orthopedic studentward in hospital of Norrköping. That’s ward where students of different degree programs works together with the help of their supervisors.

I’ve been spending my spare time at the local gym and with other exchange students. After long working days it has sometimes felt hard to find energy to do something in the evenings. But in the weekends we have had international dinners and just chilled together or visited different cities of Sweden with other exchange students. Every Tuesday evening I have Swedish course to improve my language skills. And not to self: it’s so much harder to understand native swede’s speech than the listening comprehension tasks that we have used to listen at school 😀

Huge cinnamon buns and beautiful streets of Göteborg
Sunny Stockholm

I’m feeling both happy and sad to return back to Finland after two weeks. I’m missing my family, friends and hobbies in Finland, but also going to miss people I have met here. I wish that Finnish people could be as open and share their feelings and thoughts as bravely than international people here. This exchange has taught a lot about physiotherapy and internationality and definitely gave me courage and great experiences. I can feel myself really lucky to have this kind of opportunity during my studies 🙂

Finlandais à Paris

Not the Sacre-Coeur but still a beautiful building.


I’ts been over seven weeks since I came to Paris and the exchange has exceeded my expectations. The city is beautiful: full of history and breathtaking architechtury on the old buildings and the first internship was the best ever. I’ve visited many of the touristy places and of those the Sacre-Cour church at the Montmarte hill has been my favourite.

On my spare time I’m usually at the gym or eating pastries and, oh boy, the French don’t praise their pastries and bread for nothing. I can’t say which of the delicacies are my favorites because there are so many. But if I must choose the ones I have eaten the most, I would say croissant, baguette and this little cream puff like pastry with sugar crystals on top of it called chouquette.

Lemon Tartelette and other delicious French pastries

My first internship was at rheumatology ward in Cochin Hospital. People came there to rehabilitate mostly because of rheumatism, chronic low back pain, scleroderma or knee or hip replacement surgery. They stay in the hospital approximately 5 days and work 5 hours per day with multi-professional team. So they had physiotherapy, occupational therapy, relaxation, hydrotherapy and maybe saw the podiatrist, physical education instructor, psychologist and dietitian and of course the doctor. I was also fortunate to go once or twice a week in the hospitals respiratory ward where people came usually from intensive care unit because to rehabilitate to be able to go home or to a rehabilitation center. In there I saw many interesting and special cases and learned more about rare diagnoses such as Guillain-Barre syndrome and Lupus erythematosus.

At the hospital, working with the individuals and groups without speaking the language

Cochin Hospital.


has been hard but very rewarding. My classmate, who came also for an Erasmus exchange, and me have had private french lessons from the teacher from our school in here, which has been really nice. We’ve tried to learn some useful words and phrases which has helped us to work with the patients. Even though I didn’t know any French before coming here, it has been fun to see that when people speak it all the time around you, you start to pick up some words and sentence without even realizing.

An eclaire a day keeps the doctor away.

Working culture in France doesn’t differ that much from Finnish culture. In my first internship, they were specialised in chronic lowbackpain and the rehabilitation happened in a gym room and there could be 10 patients at the same time working. It is not usual in Finland to have so many patiences working individually in the same space but in Cochin hospital they’ve made it work pretty well. One big difference what I’ve found is that the lunch brake is much more longer here in France. It can be from 30 minutes to 1,5 hours and it is a peaceful gathering where people chat about their lives and really connect. In Finland we could also try to really sit and relax and enjoy our meal with our co-workers. The lunch is usually here at 12:30 or 13:00PM and that’s something that I haven’t got used to, yet. I think it’s a bit too late for me because my tummy starts to rumble already at 10 AM. But when in Paris, do as the Parisians do (except don’t smoke).







Min træning på Holbæk sygehuset.

The social- and healthcare system is way ahead in Denmark compared to Finland. One can really see where the money has been invested. Holbæk hospital is breathtaking and it makes me question its privacy. But no, the hospital is actually public, not a private hospital.

Let me introduce you to my new best friend: Honeywell

First of all, technology is way ahead. Danish nurses wonder around the wards with their own smartphones called “Honeywell”. Danish system has expanded entire patient information on a digital database. All the vital functions can put straight to the smartphone where the automatic system calculates the patient’s riskpercent and gives nurses information when one needs to take new vitals (blood pressure, saturation, ventilation frequency, body temperature etc). All of this information is screened on a digital platform  where nurses can keep a track on patient’s riskpercent. The digital system is based on EWS = Early Warning Score which is known in Finland. Finns just still use cardboards that are still totally forgotten behind the desk. These days I am a huge fan on EWS-system! It is very smart and logical when used wisely.

This is the second best friend, the huge television with all the patients data

The patient information is also retained securely: all the patients have their own wristband that contains all the data needed: one can access to the system with Honeywell with the machine’s own scanning system. Nurses can scan the wristbands with Honeywell. This is also used when dealing medications so one can be sure that the right amount of the drug matches with the right patient. All the medication information has to be printed on the top of the dealed medication cups for the scanning.

Pretty futuristic hospital if you ask me. Maybe someday Finnish nurses have the same opportunities.

The hyggeism and high class design can be found inside hospitals also. Just take a look at our break area. We call it “the room with the view”:

Naturally one can find fancy coffee machine that is making lattes, cappuccinos, tea, hot cocoa and hot water. The hospital also offers free fruit baskets for the hard-working nurses on their breaks. Healthy aspects have been taken into consideration.

I need a reality check when I return from Denmark one day.

Greetings from Hanoi!

Greetings from Hanoi!

 Vietnamese people believe that they are the children of a mountain fairy and a water dragon. The fairy and her dragon fell in love and the fairy moved to the sea shore. They got lots of children but the fairy could not be happy without her mountains. She took half of the children with her and moved back to where she came from. The water dragon took care of the other half. The story is easy to believe because Vietnam is a land of great mountains and the sea.

I am doing my 7 weeks internship in Hanoi Medical University Hospital. The first four weeks of my internship consists of mornings at the surgical department and of participating lessons with local students in the afternoons. There is also another Finnish girl participating the same courses. The next 3 weeks we’re going to spend at the emergency department and as a future emergency nurse I look forward to it! The local students are our tutors during our internship. The doctors don’t have time to teach us and many of them lack English speaking skills so that’s why it is easier for everybody to have the students to guide us. Most of the patients don’t speak any English so the communication with them is difficult. But we smile a lot with each other and they are very interested in Western nurse students.

Hanoi is a city of great contrasts. In the city centre you can find expensive restaurants and shops, and you almost forget that Vietnam is not a rich country. The majority of Hanoi consists of shabby buildings and narrow streets where the local merchants buy fruits and vegetables, meat and fish. Forget the cold chain, it is okay to keep the meat products laying on the table whole day. There are chickens walking freely in the city streets and once I saw a man skinning the chicken next to the pavement. It is very dirty everywhere and air pollutants are a big problem. Vietnamese people are friendly and helpful. I have been travelling around Asia when I was younger and I always hated the way many people try to take advantage of me when talking about money. It happens here also, but not so much. People stare at me because I am a western girl with almost blond hair, but mostly they let me be alone.

My favourite Vietnamese food is bun cha. It is a local soup made of pork and noodle. It costs approximately 25000 Vietnamese dongs, about 90 cents in euros. As a coffee lover I tasted the famous Vietnamese coffee. It is a bit strong and sweet for Finnish taste, but still very good!

During my free time I have been exploring the city. I went to see the botanical garden and the famous water puppet show. The show was interesting and crazy in a good way, I recommend it to anyone who travels to Hanoi. I’ve been travelling outside of Hanoi also, to see the famous Halong bay and the valley of Mai chau. I love travelling and the countryside, so it is very difficult to me to stay in Hanoi for a long time. Especially because the population of the capital is 7,5 million.

Vietnamese nursing culture is very different compared to Finnish one. The hospital where I am working is one of the best hospitals in Hanoi but still I can see the differences. Protection against infections is not so strict as it is in Finland and for example gloves are not used very often. It has been difficult for me to do all the things in Vietnamese way and not how I learned to do them in Finland. The treatment of ulcers is made with iodine only and some treatment practices differ a lot from Finnish ways. Sometimes it is difficult to keep myself from questioning the practices, but still I can see that local nurses and doctors are very professional and I learned a lot here. Privacy is not a big deal, there are approximately ten patients living in the same room and sometimes nurses need to make extra beds to the floor or have two patients in the same bed. There are no curtains around the beds and all the nursing operations are done in front of other people. Including catheterizing. The nursing work here consists mostly of medical treatment. Families take care of feeding and washing the patients.

I have been enjoying my life in Vietnam and fortunately I still have 5 weeks left.


Greetings from Paris

I’m doing my 6 weeks internship at Cochi’s Hospital. Hospital lies very close the beautiful garden of Luxembourg. People are very friendly at the hospital and my tutor speaks good English. Some of the patients don’t speak or understand at all English, so sometimes it’s a bit difficult to give some physiotherapy. I don’t speak french at all, except few sentences and words. Some patients have asked me why did I come to France if I can’t speak french? Well yeah… That’s a question. I have spent a lot of time at the rheumatology and ortopedic sections where people suffer a lot of low back pain. Postoperative physiotherapy is also given at the both sections. I have also had  a couple of french lessons at the Ecole d’Assas. Just trying to learn some sentences and phrases what I can use with patients who don’t speak English.

This is how they recommend patients to eat

After 6 weeks internship at the hospital, there’s an international week at the school. There are going to be lots of presentations about different areas of physiotherapy. After the international week, I have 4 weeks internship at Cardiology and respiratory center in the north side of Paris.

Jardin de Tuileries

I’m spending my free time at the local gym called ”Fitness price”. I try to workout 2 to 4 times a week. It gives me good feeling and improves my endurance condition. I have also seen many sights, for example Eiffel tower, Triumphal arch, Champs Èlysée, Sainte-Chapelle, Church of Notre Dame, Sacré-Coeur, Luxemourg garden, Tuileries Garden, The Pont Alexandre, Pére Lachaise Cemetery… Paris is a historical town and there are lots of old buildings and much to see. Maybe 3 months is not enough to see everything that the town offers?



French pastries are incredibly good and tasty! I spend my free time… eating. I have already tasted opera cake, macaron, mille feuille, croissant, baguette, chocolate tart (twice…), eclair, nutella crepe, madeleines… This is the city of gourmet. If you go to café and order one cup of coffee, it’s going to be a really small cup. I’m serious. I think they don’t understand that I’m a finnish girl and I need a bucket of coffee!

Physiotherapy studies last here 4 years ( in Finland 3 ½ years) and they have specialized studied in their education. Physiotherapy is similar in the hospital than it’s in Finland. Here they invest a lot of time and resources to intensive rehabilitation. They rehabilitate their patients 5 hours a day! That’s something Finland should learn from example! Here also multi-professional collaboration comes out very clearly. Doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, personal trainers, podiatrists and orthotists work as a team.