Practicing pharmacy abroad has always deeply interested me. After searching online for opportunities, I discovered Work the World.
After much deliberation, I decided to carry out my placement in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Now, I can safely say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Prior to my departure, the Work the World team were extremely helpful in preparing my trip. They were frequently in contact with me to ensure I was ready for my placement.
This was my first trip abroad alone, so I was (expectedly) nervous. When I arrived at the airport in Sri Lanka however, the nerves disappeared.
A member of Work the World’s Anuradhapura team was there waiting for me with a very warm welcome. He explained the transit plan to the house and off we went.
When we arrived at the house in Anuradhapura it was late, so I went straight to bed.
I met my new housemates over breakfast the following day before heading off for day one of my placement.
During my time in the hospital, I spent time in the Renal Pharmacy, Indoor Pharmacy, drug stores, and the OPD Pharmacy.
I saw the differences between Sri Lanka’s and the UK’s healthcare systems from the get go.
I carried out drug rounds on various wards in the mornings and discovered—on the Paediatric Ward in particular—local staff crushed tablets and broke capsules to administer them to patients. It seemed to be standard practice.
I was fascinated when I saw the prevalence and severity of conditions like dengue fever, encephalitis and snakebites. These complaints were virtually unheard of in the UK!
The healthcare professionals I spent time with at the hospital were really accommodating. This was especially true of the pharmacists who welcomed me into their team for the duration of time I was there. In fact, they seemed to have just as many questions for me as I had for them.
The staff in the Work the World house were happy to offer advice when it came to travel plans.
We really made the most of the time we had in the afternoons after placement. We visited places in and around Anuradhapura, like the Dambulla Caves and Minneriya National Park.
The weekends were a great opportunity to see life outside of Anuradhapura, travelling Sri Lanka with my new friends.
We visited Trincomalee, which was an incredible place on the coast with beautiful beaches. While we were there we went dolphin and whale watching, as well as scuba diving.
Our weekend trip to Kandy was another highlight. From there, we travelled to Ella on the famous Kandy to Ella train, stopping off at Nuwara Eliya on the way to see the vast tea plantations.
My placement in Sri Lanka with Work the World was unforgettable. The experience moulded my personal and professional values in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
I can’t recommend Anuradhapura enough. If you’re planning on taking a trip with Work the World, be sure to step out of your comfort zone when you get out there.
My only regret was that I didn’t spend any extra time before or after my three weeks of placement travelling and discovering more of Sri Lanka’s natural beauty!