I was fortunate enough to win a competition with the Society of Radiographers in partnership with Work the Work — the prize was an elective in the Philippines. I had brilliant support from Work the World who helped me to arrange absolutely every detail. Before I knew it, I was heading out to Iloilo for my 4 week placement in an overseas Radiology Department! When I arrived in Iloilo, the local Work the World team met me, and the other students who had arrived that day, at the airport.
Iloilo, ‘The Heart of the Philippines’ (In the Western Visayas), is a blend of Spanish, Malay and American influences. The city is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery as it is located on the island of Panay.
The Work the World house I’m staying in is a large four-storey property in a beautiful area near the river. It has space for around 30 students who, as it turns out, out are from all over the world! All the staff were very welcoming and all of my fellow students were so friendly. I feel relaxed straight away as it feels like a home away from home.
On my second day we had an induction at the local government hospital (the biggest in the area). The Work the World staff also took us on a great tour of the city. During the tour, we were shown how to use ‘jeepneys’, which are these elongated modified Jeeps that local people use to get where they need to go. We went to the local shopping centre and had some traditional Filipino lunch, too.
After the city tour we had a local language lesson. The people here speak Hiligaynon, and I’ve learned a few useful phrases that will really help my hospital experience.
The first day of placement started with a flag raising ceremony where all staff stand outside the hospital before work. They even publicly welcomed all the Work the Word students to the department! We first toured around the hospital which is very different to what we are used to in the UK. The wards looked relatively understaffed given its size and the total number of patients in each room. It was interesting to see the patients’ relatives helping patients in the wards and ED. The Radiology Department was actually based in the ED and included an X-ray, Ultrasound and a CT room.
Anyway, I’ve been here for three days of placement so far and I’m really enjoying it! I will be back for an update in another blog post soon.