I decided to complete my elective placement in the Philippines due to working with many Filipino nurses at home, and with this experience, I wanted to be able to understand their practice and culture.
When I first walked into the hospital I felt overwhelmed by the environment, there were animals inside which obviously would not be allowed at home, up to four patients on a bed sitting in the corridor and an intense humid heat which enhanced the smells of the hospital.
I got to use equipment which appeared to be very outdated and sparse in some areas of the hospital.
For the first week, I took on an observatory role to understand how my area of placement worked and when I was confident enough I would ask to help with tasks that I felt confident to do so. I got to use equipment which appeared to be very outdated and sparse in some areas of the hospital.
One of my most memorable cases of this placement involved a patient who was being manually ventilated in an open corridor by her brother who had stood there for endless hours, she was in hypovolemic shock with other patients watching, however, no one seemed to be phased. In the Philippines, I feel death is accepted a lot easier than back in England.
In the Philippines the 'non-refusal' policy means that all patients have to be accepted which leads to severe overcrowding in the hospital, many nurses work with a 1:50 ratio compared to at home where there is a 1:6 ratio as a general maximum.
In the evenings, the staff at Work the World put on BBQ and karaoke nights which were always a good laugh, and at the weekends myself and many other housemates arranged amazing weekends away to some of the most beautiful islands and had plenty of time to relax.
I would suggest to anyone who wants to travel but is struggling to find the time with the intensities of a nursing/medical course to sign up now because you will regret it if you do not, it's an amazing way to combine the two together.
I now hold some of my best memories from this trip and will be looking to travel the rest of South East Asia as the Philippines inspired me so much.