As part of our University course, we had to organize an elective placement. I chose Work the World to help me organize my placement because it had good reviews and the online profile was very enticing with the variety of destinations to choose from.
The “MyTrip” profile was really helpful though I wasn’t very good with sticking to the dates and it helped me to know what I needed for my trip and what to expect. The language list was also a great help.
There were no problems with the pick up and transfer from the airport. I felt very welcomed. All of the inductions/orientations (house, hospital, Iloilo City) were useful and informative. I felt that it prepared me well for my experience in Iloilo.
I felt well supported by all of the Work the World staff here in the Philippines and felt comfortable talking to them should any problems arise. They were all very friendly and welcoming.
The differences in healthcare here in the Philippines and back in the UK are very significant. The main difference is that the family provide a lot of the care for the patient. For example, they would perform manual ventilation in contrast to the UK where it would be a team of nurses and physicians. Also, the system in which healthcare is paid for is very different. In the UK, we have the National Health Service (NHS) which aims to provide healthcare for free at the point of access. In contrast here, you either have private healthcare insurance or you have Philhealth which provides reduced costs for healthcare services. So in terms of drugs, patient’s folks/relatives have to get the prescription from the nurse and go to the pharmacy to collect and pay for the medication and equipment (i.e. syringe) to bring back to the ward so it can be given. It was nice to see that some patients who had something that another needed, and would sometimes give them to them to provide the care.
It was also good to experience areas that I hadn’t previously been exposed to like Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as delivery.
I will take to the UK, the appreciation of the things that we do have, but also the creativity of the nurses providing services and supplies for patients by using things resourcefully (e.g. making hand splints from cardboard boxes and papers, making neonatal oxygen masks using dextrose bottles cut to size) and also how wasteful we can be. I will also take back how happy spirited the healthcare professionals were. Everyday, laughing, smiling and willing to teach as well as wanting to learn.
I enjoyed my village healthcare experience. It was nice living with the host family and living how they would live.
I loved meeting new people from around the world and even down the road. It was good to meet people from various disciplines as we could all share knowledge.
I travelled to Antique, Boracay and Guimaras which was fun. I had lots of new experiences such as waterfall climbing, ziplining, riding motorbikes and eating mango pizza.
I would give the following advice to future students: -
• Embrace the culture
• Don’t let preconceptions cloud your judgement
• Don’t be afraid to try new things
• Take advantage of every opportunity
• Explore Iloilo as much as you can
• Be prepared for RICE