My experience with Work the World was absolutely amazing.
I gained so much from it and only wish I could have spent longer in the Philippines experiencing different areas in the hospital.
I travelled to the Philippines alone. And although I was slightly apprehensive about this, I felt completely safe in doing so thanks to Work the World.
I shared a room in the Work the World house with another British girl — it turned out we had a lot in common.
Our other housemates were Australian, American, Dutch and Finnish students! There were some other nurses, medical students and pharmacy students all of whom I got on with really well.
Everyone was so friendly. The weekly BBQ nights meant we all mingled together.
The clinical placement
The hospital was a definite eye opener. But everyone was so friendly and made us feel welcome and at ease.
The hospital lacked resources that I was used to in the UK. Almost all of the single-use equipment was scarce.
I spent my first week in the emergency department, which was totally different to its UK equivalents.
The way in which they performed CPR was very different, and was difficult to watch at first. But we weren’t there to change anything — we just had to respect the way in which they chose to do things.
Experiences like this showed me how much knowledge I actually had. I was analysing every situation and thinking about how we might do them back in the UK.
In the Philippines, patients’ families played a huge role in care.
They provide all personal care and also do ventilating for the patients.
If a patient had respiratory problems, the doctors intubated them immediately with no anaesthetic. The family members were told to hand ventilate with a bag mask, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days.
I spent my second week in OBG and it was amazing. I split my time between the paediatric ICU and delivery.
The delivery suite was very different to back home. For example mothers didn’t have pain relief during delivery.
Nor did they have skin to skin time with their baby, sometimes waiting hours to see them. Babies were immediately removed from their mothers, weighed, tagged, vaccinated, and then wrapped up and put in a crib. This was so they could be closely monitored by the midwives.
That there was no skin to skin contact surprised me. That and the fact the mother did not see the baby for such a long period of time after giving birth. But again, this was how they did things in the Philippines and we just had to accept that.
Seeing the differences in healthcare is amazing and everyone should experience it. It really gives you a new appreciation for what we have at home.
The staff in the Philippines do an amazing job with the few resources they do have.
During the evenings and weekends, we also got to go and explore the Philippines.
We went to Apo Island and swam with turtles, and went to Coron to see some breathtaking sights. I will definitely be returning to see more of the country.
Work the World
I can’t recommend Work the World highly enough. I will definitely be planning another trip with them soon.
Work the World’s coordination was amazing. They put everything in place and gave me a vast amount of information before my trip. They really put me at ease.
The food was amazing in the Work the World house, and the staff team were amazing.
Filipino people are so lovely and welcoming. The local people were fascinated by anyone who looked different, so be prepared for people to take an interest in you. They aren't doing it to be rude, they are just fascinated by our differences.
It was one of the best experiences I have ever had.