I have now been back in Finland for a little over a week. Many have asked how was it? It is hard to describe.It was an experience I would not change for anything. It was a great opportunity to learn and see. I can say that if I have stayed in Finland I would have gain more nursing competence that I did in Hungary. Nurses did not let us to do that much and then there was problems with communication or somebody did not like foreign and they asked me to stay our of their way. In the end, when Inês left home, I really started to miss home. Of course after staying for a week at home I started to miss Hungary 😀 .
Hospital life was different. Obviously the hospital was lacking resources, but there was something different about nursing as well. They do earn less (a much less) and they have lack of staff, more severely than we do here in Finland. I can imagine it is stressful and wearing to work 12 hours or more in a ward with 40 patient and just two nurses. The thing that worried me was the lack of interest and lack of proud in how nurses carried out their tasks. I am not saying it was all of them and I am only talking about the hospital I was practicing in, there are many more in Hungary.
I feel privilege to study nursing in Finland. Our teachers and mentors in school and in hospitals treat us with respect (at least most of them). In Hungary I often felt that I am second class, not good enough to do even the easiest tasks. I felt useless. In Finland we are encourage to ask questions, the problem is more likely to be not asking enough questions than other way around. In my practices in Hungary nurses found questions intimidating, they thought that I was questioning their expertise. It was weird for me when practices mostly are based on open discussion. At least that is the way I learn.
It was not all bad, if I did not learn as much in Hungary about nursing as I would have in Finland, I did learn more about life (sorry, sounds corny 🙂 ). It was not my first time abroad and it was not even the poorest or most exotic place I have ever visit, but it was the first place that I got to experience the everyday life of locals very close. It was the first time in my life that somebody was racists against me. It was eye-opening experience and it made me appreciate Finland (good-quality tab water!! How lucky are we?!).
I also learned to let go. When you take care of a small orphan child for a day s/he crawls under your skin easily. It does feel bad to leave the child at the hospital and never know what happened after you left. Still I cannot loose my mind over it. I have to leave him/her in the hospital. It is impossible to adopt all of the orphans of the world and safe them.
I would not try to do so many practices, if I did something differently. I would do home care -practice in Finland. I cannot say that I recommend Nyíregyháza as practice place without a doubt. It was not easy, nothing works, but everything will be alright. Like I said I would have learned more about nursing in Finland, but I would have missed out on an amazing experience and an adventure. I would not have met those wonderful people that made my stay worth it by staying at home.