by Joe Jamieson

Why Go Overseas?, Clinical Experience

Are you ready to elevate your nursing expertise and broaden your horizons in ways you've never imagined? Step into overseas low-resource healthcare – a life-changing opportunity to enrich your practice and transform your understanding of Western healthcare systems.

On your overseas nursing elective, you'll experience firsthand the fundamental principles that underpin nursing, whether you're studying adult, childmental health or learning disability nursing. This journey will remind you of the essence of your discipline and the profound impact you can have on patients' lives.

And if you choose to undertake your placement with us, you'll reap the benefits of our comprehensive service.

You'll get:

  • Pre-departure preparation with our UK team
  • Structured, supervised nursing elective placement
  • English-speaking supervision
  • Private, catered accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country team
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • + more

But it's your hospital placement that's at the core of your trip, and you don't need to take our word for it:

“The labouring mother wasn’t given any pain medication even during an episiotomy…”

Iloilo, Philippines: "On numerous occasions, I saw the nurses reuse half-used IV fluids, ampules of medication were used on two to three patients, oxygen tanks were shared between patients taking it in turns to use, ventilation bags were made from gloves, and two to three patients were sharing the same bed. 

But throughout these hurdles, the nurses and doctors maintained cleanliness and aseptic techniques where possible to ensure no cross-contamination." — Katie Hoskins, University of Gloucestershire.

“ The doctors in Takoradi knew everything by heart because they have to.”

Papochoudo, Danielle

Takoradi, Ghana: "​​I was so impressed with the knowledge of the doctors. I think I unconsciously thought that training in more developed healthcare systems was better. But it was exactly the other way around. The doctors in Takoradi knew everything by heart because they have to — I’ve seen doctors back at home searching for things online." — Mariëlle Van Eenennaam, HZ University of Applied Sciences.

“It was amazing to see the importance of family ABOUT mental health illnesses.”

Upton, Chloe

Kathmandu, Nepal: "Family involvement is the most significant difference between the Nepali and UK healthcare systems.

For a patient to be admitted into the ward in Nepal, they had to have a family member agreeable to be present at their bedside for at least three hours a day, and the family member is involved in all aspects of care. Whereas in the UK, patients very rarely have a family member with them in the psychiatric wards.

It was amazing to see the importance of family in the context of mental health illnesses." — Chloe Upton, University of Chester.

“The babies were fed using the same cup of milk; staff were not worried about cross-contamination”

Paediatric Nursing Elective in Arusha, Tanzania

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: "Another difference is the lack of resources in all departments, so staff must be conscious of how much they use per patient.

For example, while in the paediatric department, the babies were fed using the same cup of milk; staff were not worried about cross-contamination but focused on making sure that the babies were fed.

Looking back, I realise how privileged we are to have the NHS and the resources to look after patients in the UK. My experience was eye-opening, highlighting the importance of utilising your resources." — Shakiirah Naseem, Anglia Ruskin University.

“The most critical patients were airlifted by the army to the hospital in Kathmandu.”

Sedgwick, Cara

Kathmandu, Nepal: "During my time in A&E, a storm hit some small villages on the India-Nepal border, causing severe injuries and some fatalities. The army airlifted the most critical patients to the hospital in Kathmandu. It was incredible to see how the team prepared for this despite the lack of resources.

I made splints from pieces of wood and wrapped them in cotton wool and bandages. The preparation showed excellent improvisation skills, something I would be doing in wilderness medicine rather than in the hospital in the UK.

When the patients arrived, I felt part of the team, and triage began. I was placed with the nurses and doctors to treat patients and manage their injuries.

We shared different ideas on wound care and how to manage catastrophic bleeds. Still, overall, the approach to the arrival and management of mass casualties was not too dissimilar to that in the UK.

What I found most challenging about this situation was that medication could not be administered until it had been purchased at the pharmacy by a patient’s relatives. Depending on how busy the pharmacy was and the family's financial situation, this could sometimes be a timely process." — Cara Sedgwick, King's College London.

“I’ve never seen a smile as big on any patient I’ve ever treated.”

Hue, Vietnam: "In my oncology week, I changed the surgical wound dressing of a seven-year-old boy who had cancerous thyroid tissue removed from his neck.

I couldn’t communicate with him directly as neither spoke the other’s language.

But with a calm voice and body language, we communicated effectively. The boy was anxious, but I moved his neck as needed, and I dressed the wound for him.

I made him a balloon elephant out of a latex glove (a trick once shown to me by a paramedic) to put him at ease. I’ve never seen as big a smile on any patient I’ve ever treated.

I’ll never forget that moment." — Charlotte Marriage, King's College London.

“There was one occasion when hydrocortisone was missing from the emergency trolley.”

Maudy van der Heiden (VANDERHE23774)

Kandy, Sri Lanka: "Another difference was that nurses in Sri Lanka took stock of their own medicines. In the UK, it’s the pharmacy team’s responsibility. They come to the wards once or twice weekly to ensure the teams have everything they need. 

There was one occasion when hydrocortisone was missing from the emergency trolley. I asked when they would get more stock — the nursing team didn’t know. It’s not a vital medicine, and you might not need it on an emergency trolley. Still, it further highlighted the procedural difference between Sri Lanka and the UK." — Samantha Jolliffe, University of Surrey.

Transform your perspective on nursing:

An overseas nursing elective gives you the rare opportunity to share the skills and knowledge from your experience in the UK with equally dedicated nurses overseas. And it works both ways — if you keep an open mind, you’ll pick up techniques and perspectives that change your approach to nursing.

Undertaking a nursing elective in a low-resource healthcare system will be an enriching experience, allowing you to grow professionally.

Start your journey now

Find out what your dream overseas elective could look like by exploring our huge range of destinations:

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