I’ve wanted to travel abroad for a long time, and chose Work the World because there was such a broad range of destinations to choose from. It looked like a great experience.
My aunt had been to Sri Lanka before, so I knew what the country was like and had always wanted to go there myself. I also wanted to work in a hospital setting that was a challenge and vastly different to what I’d be doing if I stayed at home. I learnt that the team in Anuradhapura was smaller than that in Kandy, giving me plenty of chances to rotate through the departments I wanted to learn more about.
When I first arrived in Sri Lanka, I was met at the airport by the Work the World team and then driven to the house. I had actually met another girl who was doing a Work the World placement at the airport, which made the process a whole lot less daunting.
My city orientation was amazing; Shashini (the assistant programme manager) was brilliant and made sure we knew where all the important things were. After this we had some lunch and got to chat through things, asking lots of questions and getting really thorough answers.
My first day on placement was absolutely terrifying - but in a good way! There were two of us starting on the same ward, which was Antenatal. We got to see so much.
Over my time in the hospital, I started on antenatal, before going to the C section theatre and then other Gynae surgeries. We got to see things like hysterectomies which was really interesting, especially because I didn’t get the chance to do an Obs and Gynae placement at home. It was invaluable to get the chance to rotate through women’s health in Anuradhapura.
Doing placement alongside the Sri Lankan student nurses was such good learning opportunity; they know so much more than Western students because they don’t study within a stream; Adult or Child nursing for instance. Instead, they learn everything! Plus, because the hospital was a teaching one, I felt I was able to ask more questions and get more information.
At the weekends, we travelled to Kandy, visited the elephant orphanage, and a tea factory. One of my favourite memories was checking into an Ayurvedic spa resort and treating myself to a full body massage!
To those thinking of taking a placement in Anuradhapura, I’d definitely suggest researching what wards you want to go so you can go with a clear aim of what you’d like to achieve and learn.