I find it difficult to put into words how amazing my time in the Philippines was, but I'll try!
I had always wanted to visit the Philippines. Pictures from friends who had been showed the country to be an archipelago of paradise islands. Work the World provided me with the means to get there, and I am glad to say it was totally worth it.
There was a lot of communication between Work the World and I, and they provided all the answers to many of my ludicrous questions. Reflecting on their comprehensive replies and in-depth phone calls, it was clear that no question was a silly question, and I am extremely grateful for that.
The Work the World house was a home away from home and the staff were our dream team. They were like my second family for the duration of the trip. The food was spectacular; the catering team can make everything taste like a 5-star meal. They catered for everyone’s preferences, no matter what they were.
Staying in the house, you will meet a variety of individuals studying all sorts of healthcare courses. Even if you’re traveling alone I can guarantee you won’t be alone once you reach Iloilo. Your housemates become your party mates, travel mates, even tour mates. You’ll have a blast.
Undertaking my clinical placement in Work the World’s partner hospital was eye-opening. The healthcare system in the Philippines, when compared to what I was familiar with in England, was different in the extreme. However, having had two years’ experience as a nursing student, and having such supportive staff in the hospital enabled me to achieve above and beyond what I originally set out to. I felt as though my placement gave me a taste of an alternative path; the path to becoming an overseas Nurse.
Each week brought with it unique experiences, as I had the flexibility to choose which areas I wanted to work in. Ranging from psychiatry to orthopaedics, the hospital staff were welcoming, respectful and excited for us to be a part of their respective teams.
The time I spent in the Orthopaedic Outpatient Department was the highlight of my whole placement. The staff went out of their way to include me everything they were doing, whether it was simpler procedures such as cast removal, or more complex undertakings like clubfoot correction and external fixation removal. Staff talked me through every single step, at times allowing me to assist under supervision. Having an approachable personality, being social, being polite and displaying a big smile can took me far.
Naturally, I started by comparing my own practises to the practises I saw in the Philippines. I will say now that it’s in your best interest to approach everything with an open mind if you want to the most out of your own placement. Leave prejudices and judgements at home, because Iloilo is ultimately a place of positive experiences.
Advice for future students looking to undertake a placement with Work the World: Just do it.
You will be forever grateful you seized the opportunity, because once you qualify, there’s really no going back. It may seem a bit pricey, but I can’t stress enough how frequently you’ll look back on this part of your university life and think, ‘I wish I could go and do it all again’.