I chose Hue in Vietnam because I have never visited South East Asia before, and Vietnam was one of the countries on my bucket list. I thought that working and travelling around in Vietnam would be the perfect combination for a meaningful and exciting holiday!
When I came to the hospital, I was pleasantly surprised. I did not realise the hospital would be as advanced as it is and it definitely surpassed my initial expectations.
Firstly, I learnt so much about the healthcare system in Vietnam. I also saw many things I did not see on my previous placements in the UK. For example, I had the opportunity to work with a doctor on an Oncology ward which was a really interesting experience for me as a future healthcare professional.
The most memorable case I saw was a patient in ICU who had a snake bite. In the UK we do not come across any venomous snakes, it was a completely new experience. I learnt the whole process on how to treat patients presenting with snake bites.
There are many differences between the UK and Vietnam. While most public healthcare in the UK is free under the NHS, people in Vietnam usually have to have some form of health insurance that will pay for hospital expenses. The type of healthcare insurance you have will determine what type of treatment you can get (depending on the cost). There were also some differences within the pharmacy department. The main difference was the way it looked and how everything was stored. There was no electronic dispensing process as I have previously worked with in the UK and most things were done on paper.
The hospital staff were very friendly and helped me to understand things I was interested to know more about, they would respond to my questions in the most helpful way possible. They were also very interested in how hospitals operate in the UK.
We had a lot of free time in the evenings and weekends to relax and socialise. Sometimes, we’d watch a show or go swimming before dinner. On weekends, I would always want to travel somewhere further afield. For example, one weekend we went to Hoi An and the following weekend we took a flight to Ho Chi Minh city. It was amazing!
I think that overseas placements are an excellent opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and have a once in a lifetime experience. You’ll meet so many interesting local people and also people from elsewhere in the world. It was a highly memorable and stimulating experience personally and I would recommend it to anyone.