Not So Far Away

Two nursing students doing their professional practice in operating theater and intensive care unit in Tartu, the cultural capital of Estonia.

Last moments!

Now that all the practice is almost over I’ll say some words about the intensive care units where I have been. There is at least three different intensive care units in the hospital: neurointensive, general intensive and pulmointensive including lungs etc. Besides, there is also own intensive to heart things and to children, if I have understood it correctly. I spent at least one week in every of those three units, but with small differencies, they are basically quite similar. In neurointensive concentrated more on neurological problems (brain problems, spinal cord problems, etc.), pulmo intensive in lung problems (like pneumonia, care after lung surgery, lung cancer, many patients withdrawing from the ventilation machine, etc.) and general intensive in all the others like organ transplantations, cancers, etc.

Anyway, all the units were interesting places and I was received there very friendly, even though at first I wasn’t even supposed to do my practice in intensive care but in operating theater as a scrub nurse trainee, like Jenna has done. I don’t know very much about how things are done in intensive care unit in Finland, so it’s difficult to compare but now I have seen how it is here. In units there are 10-12 patient places including 2 isolation places for patients needing isolation (contagious diseases, or weakened immune system), and every nurse can have maximum 2 patients at a time. Shifts are usually 12 hours: 7-19 or 19-7, only the nurse who is assisting the procedures done during the day, has a 8 hours’ shift from 8 to 16. In every unit there were “hospital assistants” who worked somelike as practical nurses: feed, washed and took care of the hygiene of the patients. Nurses just helped with washing and turning the patient. In addition, nurses take care of the medicines, possible iv. cannulations, suctioning, using of nasogastric tube, monitoring, fluids, blood transfusions, changing of infusion/artery systems, measuring CVP & IAP, taking samples (blood, urine, sputum, etc.), and assisting doctor in procedures like putting central venous catheter, arteria cannula, pleural punction, tracheostomy, etc.

All the hours soon done, two days to go! 🙂

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It our last week here, next week we’ll be back in Jyväskylä which feels strange and raises mixed feelings: it is kind of sad to think that this time will be over soon. It has been a great experience to live abroad, meet new people from different countries, learn in the Estonian hospital with the ways they do things ( it is not that different), learn Estonian language, learn about Estonian traditions, get to know this pretty town as a home town for a while, and enjoy the cheaper public transportation, hair dressers (7 e hair cut..) and food. It has been great to get to know Estonia better because to be serious, I did not know very much about this country even though it is our neighbor. One weekend at Tallinn that I had spent earlier did not teach me a lot, these three months did. We were also able to see many places of this country: Pärnu, Saaremaa, Peipsi lake, South Estonia… This country is so much more than just Tallinn tourism and Pärnu’s spas.

At the same time that it feels sad to leave soon, it also feels so good to know that soon we’ll be at home, sleeping in the own bed, surrounded by own stuff, back in finnish routine: no more small shared room with shared kitchen and toilet altogether with 6 people, no more making coffee one cup at a time because at home there is a coffee machine! The last times have gone so quickly. I think the first half of these three months’ period went slower, when everything was new, but the last half has gone like flying with the routine we have here. Today was our second last time in crossfit. Kind of wistful feeling. We wrote to their guestbook and took a picture together with one teacher. It has been so great part of this time.

On Saturday we’ll go to Tallinn, on Sunday back to Finland. It is so soon!

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Small Estonian language -course

I have collected here few useful sentences which you can use while staying in Estonia.

Tere! – Hello!

Palun! – Please, You’re welcome!

Aitäh! – Thank you!

Head isu! – Bon appetite!

Head aega! – Goodbye!

Tere hommikust! – Good morning!

Head ööd! – Good night!

Vabandust – Sorry

Kas…? – Do…?

Kus on veetsee? – Where is toilet?

Mis see on? – What is it?

Mis kell on? – What time is it?

Kas sa räägid soome/inglise keelt? –Do you speak Finnish/English?

Mul on vaja.. – I need..

Asud siin. – You are here.

Ma ei saa aru. – I don’t understand.

Sul on õigus. – You are right.

Kui palju maksab? – How much does it cost?

 

For Finnish, the pronunciation is almost the same. Few things differ, though. “D” is more like “T”, and “T” is like “TT”. “G” is said more like “K”. Estonian language contain also “ü” letter, which is said same as “Y”. Also, one difficult letter to pronounce is “õ”, which is said like “öw”. Like “Ö” but said  in front of the mouth.

 

Few words from practice:

Nõel = Needle

Tilg [tilk] = IV Infusion (keittis)

Süstal [systal] = Syringe

Vererõhk = Blood pressure

Hapnikumask [hapnikkumask] = Oxygen mask

Steriiliseeritud kindad [kintat] = Sterile gloves

Kust teil valutab? = Where does it hurt?

Ravimid = Medication

 

Estonian language is difficult (except if you know Finnish). Still, it is possible to learn it. Try to speak it as much as possible. Estonians are commonly good in English, but it’s fun to learn new language. Estonians are also polite, so don’t be confused if stranger wishes you “head isu” in canteen. Also, “palun”  is commonly used word in many situations, and you should definitely remember: “Äitäh!”

 

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Tudengipäevad and something more!

Hey!!

Vappy = volbriöö was here too! That week was actually Students’ week here, so there was programme in the town during all week. There were performances, happenings around the town, races like the one were men had to be carried by a lady (or man) through a small track. There were also possibilities to try sumo wrestling, Kiiking, bascet climbing, boat race in the river, etc. On 30.4 which is Volbriöö, it’s traditional that people, mostly children and students as long as I understood, might wander around the town dressed up like witches.

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On Wednesday 30.4 we celebrated Vappu together with other Finnish students who came here from Pärnu. First we planned to go to some Finnish Vappy event, where one girl from Crossfit invited us. The plan changed when we all did not have so formal clothes as it would have been needed to that event. We tried Finnish way to sit in the park but there were surprisingly few people sitting. In the evening there was also Estonian band called Dagö playing in the bridge and if there were no people in the park, the area down the river was full of people listening to them! Here you can listen to one song of theirs. During the gig also fireworks were done, never seen fireworks in first of May 😀

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Our new roomates, Indian couple has arrived back from India. They have brought some life to our apartment, noisy voices, Bollywood music and cooking with good smelling stuff – not bad at all 🙂 The woman is here basically all the time while the man studies. We have also been able to learn some little things about Indian foods.They bring all the spices from India because they cannot get them here and food here just does not taste.

About the Estonian language… So sure that I was  in the beginning that I’m not going to learn this language (even though I kept ensuring myself I can), I can notice that everything is possible. We are both capable to communicate in Estonian in basic situations when buying stuff etc. but also in the hospital. Actually, I think we know better those words in hospital like syringe (süstal), needle (nõel), do you have pain (Kas teil on valus) than the ones you would need when buying clothes or something. But that’s the way it goes, you learn what you have to use. It makes me really happy to notice that we have been able to survive only with Estonian in the hospital. Even though nurses may have has to repeat what they have said or explain it in other way, we have been able to understand each other and learned needed things about the operation theater and intensive care unit. Of course many mistakes are still made which have caused some misunderstandings and even embarrazing moments, and it’s easier to understand than speak, but still. Once we went to buy souveniers and the lady who worked there explained us facts about the stuff she sold and we asked her some things. Then she asked how long we have been here and if we have studied Estonian earlier, and was surprised when we said that two months and we’ve been learning only here. “Super tublid tüdrukud” 😉 So everyone, go abroad to learn, SPEAK even though you would make millions of mistakes because it’s the best way to learn, and it feels so good to see that you DO learn!

Of course this time here has given us lot more than just some skills of Estonian. We’ve been seen the used practices in different hospital which we can use in creating our own professional role as a nurse. This has also given even more understanding about the life when you live and work with different kinds of people. There are so many different kinds of persons, different kinds of ways to do things, different kinds of lives. More you see differences, more you understand that your own way is just one way to do things, not the only way. Might sound cliché to say this, but that’s the way it goes, I think.

To the end one of the most famous symbols of Tartu, Kissing Students, in Raekoja Plats (Townhall square). There is also a restaurant with the same name on the Townhall Square. It’s something you must see in Tartu but it’s also something impossible not to see because it’s in the centre of the town. I read that the sculpture is from the year 1998 and it’s created by Mati Karmin. It is said to characterise the romantic and spontaneous student life…hmm.

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Anyway, still some weeks ahead! =) Time flies, it always does…

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Easter time!

Last weekend’s Monday we had a free day. In Finland shops and stores are usually closed that day because it’s the second Easter Day but here, surprisingly, everything was open. So we went shopping, walked around the town because the weather was awesome (20 degrees and sun!), visited Jaani Kirik again & accidentally found the Botanical Garden of the University of Tartu (Tartu Ülikooli Botaanikaaed) & spent some time enjoying the sun nearby the river. Awesome day, summer you’re welcome!

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The main building of the university (the oldest university of Estonia, founded in 1632!)

 

 

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Jaani kirik:

 

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So about the Tartu Botaanikaaed. Ticket cost 3e for adults, 2e for students and seniors. It was in 2 floors and there were different rooms filled with different kinds of flowers and plants: palms, cactuses, other plants including Carnivorous Plants & of course little information about them. The temperature in some rooms was quite high, like 30-35 degrees so it started to feel a bit uncomfortable in the long run. Here everyone more interested can find extra information: Tartu Botaanikaaed. Outside there were also garden which might be even more beautiful in the summer. Anyway, nice place to visit!

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On  Tuesday we visited also the scientific center called AHHAA. It is something like Heureka in Finland. First we were shown the presentation about the gases in the air. It was pretty interesting. The presentors showed us concretelly how those gases reacted to different kinds of things and some explosions were seen. Really really cool!

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Then we saw other things around the place: ants, chicks, interesting body parts in shelves, the tower where you were able to pull yourself up, etc. Many things but it was worth visiting. Cost 9 euros for students.

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We ate in really good restaurants both evenings: Neljapaev which was a fish restaurant and cat fist was tasted by us for the first time. Second place was Kapriis which was also really nice and economic. On the evening we walked along the river and enjoyed the bridge with lights (it changes the lights so it is really pretty in the evening).

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Free days were great! Now we’re back at hospital, Jenna in operation theater, Miia in intensive care. More about those later.

 

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Trip to South Estonia // Saturday 12.04.2014

We had a great trip arranges by ESN Tartu on Saturday 12.4.2014. They had planned our visit to four famous land marks and tourist attractions in South Estonia. The trip was surprisingly very popular, so it was nice that Miia and I got places to it. We had one bus load full of international students from all over the world: at least from Usa, Germany, Spain, Eastern Europe, Italy, Estonia and Finland.

 

Our first stop was at a great Sangasten Castle build in 1881. It was built by Count Friedrich Georg Magnus von Berg, who had Finnish wife. They marriage wasn’t very successful, but he had two sons. He is still well known for his life work in agriculture with animals and plants, most famously with rye (in Finnish ruis). The castle was nice, but it was under renovation so some parts were covered. But, our tour guide was really enthusiastic and was willing to show us even the tower roof! (Which you can image was quite an effort, because there were 30 people climbing small, steep steps to roof and then back.) But I can warmly recommend to pay a visit to the castle. There are also something other activities in the village, too. The castle’s hotel was also under renovation, but we visited one room, which was really beautiful. One night at the hotel was 80-90 euros/2 persons.

Here is more information about Friedrich (in Finnish): http://www.kylvosiemen.fi/arkisto/2005/sangaste.html

Sangaste Castle

Sangaste Castle

 

The second place we visited was Maanteemuuseum aka Road Museum. The Museum area contained one big outdoor hall, where was old road machines, and also an old horse-pulled post cart, which is in use in summer times. There was also outdoor exhibition where was resembles of old road types. The main part of museum was inside of an old post office.  There were old maps and history of roads in old times. History of roads from the 1900 to this date was in other building, close to the main building. We learned many interesting facts, for example after second world war every citizen was obligated by law to work on road construction to rebuild war ruined roads something like 10 days a year. The visit to museum was really nice! The ticket prices were few euros, and I think it was totally worth of money.

Old post carriage

Road Museum

After that we headed to Piusa Caves, which is a place where they collected sand to class production from 1922 to 1970. There we also had a small lunch break. We had salad and sandwiches, and boy it was good to eat outside! After lunch we watched short video about animals that stay winters in caves, and the most famous animal is a bat, which has become a symbol to caves. Actually, we saw two bats hanging in the roof of a cave when we visited inside. Because of a collapse risk, visitors are only allowed to see an entry of the long caves. Total length of all caves is over 40 km, and it’s only 10 km from Russian border. The sand was really fine around the caves, and there were lot of pines growing. It was nice place to visit, but maybe not the most interesting.

Piusa Caves

 

Piusa Caves

Our last stop was Suur Munamägi, which is the highest point of all the Baltic countries high being 318 meters above sea. On the top of the hill is an observation tower, which gave us beautiful sights at highs. Almost the whole trip from the beginning was rainy and cloudy, but thankfully the weather got better when we got to Munamägi.

Views from Tower Suur Munamägi Observation Tower

Our trip was really nice, and it was interesting to get to know Estonian history and landmarks better. If you are travelling in South Estonia, every place is worth visiting!

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Anesthesia is over!

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Time flies and somehow we are in the middle of our time here in Tartu. First practice on the anesthesia ward is over. And what did we learn? Many things. About different ways to do things & about similar ways to do things. I think we practiced basically the same things than students in Finland do: cannulation, giving and diluting iv. medication, assisting in intubation and extubation (in different way than in Finland like mentioned earlier; here nurses do not ventilate but give the medication), putting monitor devices on and monitoring, thinking what does it mean if some value changes and what should you do, use the ventilation machine, assisting the anesthesiologist in regional anesthesia. We both spent time in ettevalmistusruum (where the patients were prepared for the surgery: cannulas put and sometimes also epidural/spinal anesthesia) & and in recovery. We both also spent one day in cardiac surgery room were open heart surgeries were done: really interesting! The blood was lead to the machine which worked as a heart and lungs, so that the heart could be stopped and be state without blood, and surgeons could work. The machine used did everything: the gases where changed, some medication given and possible inhalation anesthetics where given through that machine, and it measured the pressure values before the oxygenation place and after that. Interesting but still complex, there were too many tubes and lines to understand it all in one day.

The operation room:

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Ventilation machines etc:

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Medication table:

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Actually, I tell you little bit more about recovery here. Almost all the patients are taken there after the surgery except if they need intensive care or if they have been in c-section. They spent approximately 30min-2hours there. To kids only SpO2 is measured and oxygen mask is put, usually, but to adults also other devices (ECG, BP). Depends on case. The analgesic used mostly is Petidin intravenously. The day I spent in recovery I did not see any other drugs used for pain than Petidine, and drugs put into epidural space if the patient had the catether. Also Efedriin to raise the blood pressure and pulse, Atropin to raise only pulse and Mesaton to raise only blood pressure were all the time ready on the medication table, in case they are needed. Here the documenting programme is not common between operation rooms and recovery so the documentation done during the operation have to printed out to the recovery where nurses write everything on the paper.
Anyway, we have a good memory about the time in the anesthesia ward in Tartu Ülikooli Kliinikum. Nice and helpful people helping even with language difficulties when two finnish girls try to speak Estonian and understand it. I have to admit that I mostly spoke English with my mentor while Jenna used Estonian with her mentor… But I think we did it pretty good, anyway.

Now, let’s see how is the next practice like! We were supposed to do it in intensive care unit, but today when we tried to find the right place it turned out that we might be doing our next practice in operation theaters but in instruments.. hmm let’s see 😀

Varsti valmis õed = soon ready nurses (can be corrected……):

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New appartment!

Weeks have gone quickly. Actually, we haven’t mentioned it here but we moved. Our last apartment was wanted to be renovated so we had to move out. First we were shown a tiny appartment in the same building we lived but it was way too tiny for both of us, just one room with the oven in the corner, one wardrobe, and bathroom. Luckily we got a new student apartment from the Tartu Üliõpilasküla and we have lived here for two weeks now. The rent is same, about 140e/person/month including all the expenses, also the 20% extra for the short contract. This is same kind of apartment like the last one: three rooms and shared kitchen, toilet and bathroom. We share the room and in the other room there is one Estonian couple. The third room is of Indian couple but they are not here right now. The building we live now is on the other side of the river and further from the hospital but the buses go often straight to the hospital. Also the centre, food store and Metro (which is like Subway, really good and cheap baguettes) are near.

Here’s some picture of our new place. Kitchen:

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Hallway: (the lock on the door is something I don’t like myself because you have to lock it with the key from outside…takes time:D)

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Our room. Picture is taken from the window and we have tables and one shelf there behind.

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On free time we have both gone to crossfit two times per week and Jenna has also gone to horseback riding two times per week. One day I was there photographing here. I have fallen in love with crossfit. In Finland I thought that no never, and the same were my thoughts here at the beginning because somehow I had gotten the picture that it’s a real torture… hmm I don’t know where I had heard that;)  Okay, sometimes it might feel like a torture but it gives you so good feeling afterwards! We bought one month’s ticket there and it cost 30e for students (includes 2 times per week). I think it’s quite cheap, it includes good exercise for one hour and teachers help you to do the moves correctly even if you hadn’t done them earlier. Here’s the link if anyone ever comes here and wants to do it: it’s in Estonian but google chrome can translate it 😉

Last Saturday we went to trip to South Estonia which was arranged by ESN but more about it in the next post!

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Some price comparison between Finland and Estonian

In Finland we know, that some services and products are cheaper in Estonian. There are many factors effecting to prices, but I will give you here some price examples, and what I have seen so far living in Tartu.

 

Estonia* Finland**
Average monthly salary in country 1 028 euros (Eesti Stat., Dec 2013) 3 206 euros (Stat.fi, 2012)
Nurse’s monthly salary in country 800-900 euros (estimation) 2236,42 euros (KVTES, 2014)
Salary Taxation 21 % for everybody (2012) + other payments*** Gov tax. 0- 31,75% + municipality tax. 20,00% + other payments***
Capital Income tax. Not specific taxation (own system) 30-32%
Train ticket – adult Tallinn – Tartu 9,90 € JKL – TRE 26,23 €
Local bus transport – adult 15.34 € 62,00 €
“Saarioinen” micropizza 1,49 € 0,99 €
Movie ticket 5,50 € 10,30 €
Hartwall Long Drink (5,5%) 2,32 €/l (Superalko)  7,15 €/l (Alko)
Clothes (Seppälä, Lindex..) Same prices Same prices
Fuel 95 1.299 €/l 1.564 €/l
Crossfit -training 60 €/month 78 €/month
Riding class weekly 40 €/month 70 €/month
Rent apartment in center 350 €/month – 43 m2 695 €/month – 46,5 m2
Car’s inside cleaning 16 €/h 50 €/h
Eyelash extension (part/full) 25 €/45 € 66 €/93 €

All statistics are from March 2014, if not otherwise mentioned

*All prices are in Tartu, if not otherwise  mentioned

**All prices are in Jyväskylä, if not otherwise mentioned

*** May include pension payments, unemployment insurance and church tax

Some prices are taken from websites, and there is different prices f.ex. in rent appartments and some services. But I think those prices are quite avarage.

Food is maybe 5-15% cheaper than in Finland, but as you can see, for example Saarioisten pizza here is more expensive! Also, cheese was quite same prices as in Finland (5-6e/kg). Vegetables are quite same prices, and dairy products. Meat is maybe a bit cheaper. Near us is a pizzeria, where a normal size pizza is 4,90€, but it’s not so big than in Finland 5,5€ pizza. Well, I have used to inexpensive pizzas, cause in Jyväskylä there is Finland’s cheapest pizzas! (Ilta-Sanomat 8.2.13). But to be honest, I thought the food would’ve been a bit cheaper than it is. If you think Estonian’s salaries, you can see that food is way more expensive to them than our food to us! I will not complain Finnish food being “so expensive”, at least not so much.

The Baltic Guide –magazine does regularly comparisons about food prices in Finland and Estonian. Here is a link (in Finnish) where is comparison done between Finnish’s and Estonian’s food basket in February 2013:  http://www.tallinna.biz/2013/02/ruokakorin-hinta-virossa-vs-suomi.html

But, almost everything else here is here in Tartu cheaper than in Finland. Thou, we went shopping in Prisma here, and there was some old looking electronic not very cheaply, so I can’t say about electronic prices much.

Here is also many second hand stores, that are working ether by some charaty organization (Humana here is like SPR in Finland), and by private keepers. Prices vary from 0,40€ to 30€, so if you come to Tartu, I recommend to visit them if you like!

 

 

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Freetime :)

First of all, I’m sorry but our picture space is full so not so many pictures coming. I don’t know how we did it so early, I guess we should make the pictures here smaller to be able to add more but I added here a few.

The weather has been crazy: one day it’s sunny and feels like a spring, the next morning the ground is covered with snow.. This is still spring I guess.

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One week is over once again, so quickly & it’s Monday again! Last week we were quite tired, don’t know how it is possible to be that tired (naps every second day, I usually never do them…) That’s why I’m updating now for a longer period of time at once:D On Friday one week ago it was a Mother Language Day here (Emakeelepäev, March 14th) and we celebrated it by eating good cakes with our roommate in the cafe called Werner. Everybody, go there, it’s really good! The rest of that weekend was relaxing time for us, eating well & watching a movie in our ex roomate’s new appartment.

Here’s a picture of the best cake:

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ESN (Erasmus Student Network) of Tartu had a buddy thing where you had to answer to a few questions, and by attending to it, they matched you with an Estonian student. One week ago I met my buddy who is a really nice student girl from Estonia. We went for a tea to the pub/café called Big ben (good smelling food there!). She invited me and Jenna to a party on Wednesday. They were planning to go and check the club called Club Tallinn where all the exchange students are told to be on Wednesdays. Unfortunately, we were not that energic that we would have gone to the club since we had to be at hospital at 7.30am the next morning, but we went to hang out at her place earlier. There were about ten people at her place, mostly from Estonia but also one guy originally from Germany and other from the United States. We ate well, chatted and played some boardgames. And of course, listened to Estonian music. I invite you all to listen to this song which is all the time in my head now:

Karl-Erik Taukar – Seitsme tuule poole (8)

Anyway, it was a really nice evening and really nice people!

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On Thursday I went to see the University Student theater’s play called “Candide” with our roommate (Jenna was horseback riding and couldn’t come). It was pretty good even though I understood like 10% of the spoken language (if even that) but the actors were good, they really acted so it was possible to understand a bit more. It was a good experience and cost only 5 euros. Here’s the broacher of the play:

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On Friday we went to crossfit which is about 2 km of our appartment. There we got instructions in Estonian-English mix. The teachers there are really nice and inspirational. I had gone there once earlier and now we both were there, sweating and dying until one of us had to lie on the floor with her legs up. Still, it was really fun, at least now that you think it afterwards 😀

The Saturday was active day, we checked a few stores in Kaubamaja (shopping center) and ate really really good pancakes with salty fillings in the café called Crepp. I recommend it! Besides crepes with salty or sweet fillings, it’s possible to have at least salads, baguettes and desserts. In the evening there was a pool party arranged by ESN Tartu in Aura Keskus which is a water park in the center. There were some activities and races like limbo, and it lasted few hours in the evening. We were there checking pools, saunas (many warm saunas!) and of course waterslides. It was really fun & relaxing evening, and after that there was an afterparty arranged in a club where you were able dance your heart out.

Some words about the hospital at the end:) There is a restaurant (“söökla”) where we go to eat every lunch. The lunch costs about 3euros and it is same for everyone. There is a quite wide and changing menu on the wall where it’s possible to order what you want, usually everything has to be ordered separately (potatos/rice, meat, salad), or you may order the “Day’s dish” which includes them all and costs 2,6e. Something to remember: it is usual to say “Head isu” = Bon appetite if you come to table where people are eating or leave the table when others are still eating… Trying to remember that.

Ok, here’s our update, see you later! 😀

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(Estonian and Tartu’s flags)

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Haiglas (in the hospital)

This week was our first week of practice in the hospital,Tartu Ülikooli Kliinikum, in the anesthesia nursing. The hospital is not far from our appartment, only about 1,5km away, and if you don’t feel like walking, buses go very well too, and the bus ticket for one month for students cost under 9e… (how much was it in Jyväskylä? – 52e for students according to website). Jenna has done this week in Ear and Eye Clinic which is even closer, about 500 meters from our apartment. She’s been walking.

On Monday we were shown the ward and we did our working schedules. We both do now our anesthesia practice and we were told that we can do some of these six weeks also in instruments. After these six weeks I think we are going to Intensive Care Unit, but this is still a bit unclear to us. Let’s see what happens.

But about this week! I’m sooooo tired! The working time is usually from 7.30-15.30 but it depends and sometimes there might be longer shifts until 19.30. Besides trying to learn all the possible about anesthesia work that I can, I’ve been trying to understand what people are saying in Estonian language. Sometimes that’s not even enough because Russian language is very common in the hospital among professionals and patients. Sometimes we were thinking that are we in Estonia or in Russia, but it’s just so common.

In the ward, there is a room called “Ettevalmistusruum” where almost all the patients, except the first ones of the day, are prepared for the surgery: cannulas, spinal anesthesia, epidural catethers and central venous catethers are put there. I spent two days in that room and other day there was no nurse speaking English, only Estonian or Russian language. Luckily, one nurse had studied Finnish so our communication was some kind of mix of Finnish and Estonian. Well, I guess that’s the best way to learn the language but I have to say that it tires a lot. Anyway, in that room I was able to practice my cannulation skills very much which was really nice (you can never practice it enough, at least not yet..).

Other two days I spent in operation theater with the anesthesia nurse. Here the medicines used for anesthesia (and also other practices) differ a bit from those used in Finland (or Jyväskylä). I could list here some differences and other things that we have noticed by now:

  • Green iv-cannulas are the most common (pinks mostly used if the veins are not so good)
  • Iv-cannulas are taped with see-through tape and the date of cannulation is put on it
  • Nurses cannulate also child patients (and they are really good at it)
  • NTM, muscle relaxation indication, is used basically always when muscle relaxants are used
  • BIS, for measuring the depth of anesthesia is not usually used but MAC value is monitored
  • During the induction of anesthesia the anesthetist is the one ventilating the patient and nurse gives medication intravenously according to what the doctor tells
  • The cuff of intubation tube is not checked beforehand (but of course yes after intubation)
  • Basically always ECG with 5 electrodes is used (not only with three electrodes)
  • Also cloth is used to cover up the patient and as sterile gowns (not only those single-used materials)
  • Brown colored disinfectant is used (Betadine?)
  • When pulling medicine to the syringe, needle cap is put back to the needle (not different cap, like those red ones)
  • Here are packages including both syringe and needle in the same pack
  • In case of child patients, their parents accompany them until the operating theater and are there in the recovery room when the child wakes up
  • It’s common to see wedding rings worn
  • When leaving the ward, for example when going to eat, one must wear a white jacket in order to protect the clothes
  • In the hospital there’s a free cloakroom in the entrance area where to leave jackets etc.
  • The machines are really modern and operating theaters are spacious

We don’t have pictures to add here, and anyway we somehow used our picture space to this blog in just a few posts so let’s see how it is possible to add more pictures:D

 

 

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