From Finland to Tanzania

A nursing adventure

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Practical training starts

I started my practical training at Massana Hospital .  It is about 20 minutes travel from our accomodation in Bahari beach.  My first day there was quite a shock.  Even though it is a private hospital, by Finnish standards it is quite dirty and has basic equipment.  But, as with most things, it just seems to work.

I realized straight away that the nursing is quite different to what I have experienced before.  I think this is because the family members do so much of the basic care of the patients including dressing and feeding the patient and being with them most of the day.

I met my mentor Dennis and two other AIT volunteers there.  We started with night nurse’s shift report about patients who were already there.  We were mostly in the emergency room and day clinic and today was a comparably busy day.  There were patients from young to old, with diseases ranging from malaria to sickle cell anaemia, along with age related disorders such as hypertension and stroke to young children with severe burns.  It was quite a shock to get such a wide diversity of patients, but it was interesting to see how the nurses dealt with each case.  We also spent the day in the ‘dressing’ room where patients with wounds come for post-surgical dressing changes, stitch removal and other small procedures. We also went to the labour ward and looked round the neonatal unit and looked after a premature baby born at 30 weeks

After a hard day’s work we went to Kunduchi Beach, about 20 minutes tuktuk ride away




Karibu! Welcome

I left Finland early morning and arrived safely in Dar es Salaam.

I arrived at about 3am to the airport and getting the visa was easy, as long as you don’t expect an orderly queue like in Finland 🙂

I waited at the airport for a while probably looking bemused and tired.  Then my AIT ride came and we drove about 45 minutes from the airport to Bahari Beach – my accomodation.   The roads are quite bumpy and in a bad state and the road users seem to make up their own rules, but we got there 🙂


I finally arrived. The accomodation is basic but nice

There is a small bar where you can buy beer and water


There are also small classrooms where children come to learn English

The first morning I had an orientation around Bahari beach, the local market and wood carver’s market.  We also went to the mall and travelled by minibus and tuc tuc.  The traffic is almost always busy and there are always traffic jams.  The best ways to travel are by tuc tuc and minibus, but the fastest way is by motorbike taxi, if you have the nerves!

Two weeks to go!!

Now that summer has pretty much disappeared from Finland,  I am getting quite excited to leave, but with so many things still to do and my summer job still going on, I don’t have much spare time to organize the small things.

I have taken my malaria medication test-run and I didn’t get any terrible side effects, except maybe headaches.  I finally got round to taking the cholera vaccine which is a liquid suspension which you have to drink in two separate doses 1-6 weeks apart.   It tastes quite weird 🙂

I got confirmation of my grant from school and all fees are paid to Art in Tanzania.  My visa application is ready and now the biggest thing to worry about is packing. Here is AIT’s packing list: .  Luckily I have 30 kg weight limit!  Is it too early to pack ?