From Finland to Tanzania

A nursing adventure

Category Archives: Return

My last post and advice to you

If you are thinking about going to Tanzania to do your practice…..Do it!

It was an amazing, crazy and fun experience.  From a nursing point of view, I have learned that you see a lot of things, good and bad,  and nothing will surprise me anymore.  I have seen plenty of good nursing care and some not so good nursing, but I think that is the same wherever you go in the world.

From a personal point of view, I think I have learned to enjoy life, to enjoy my friends and not to take things in life too seriously.  Whatever happens will happen!

If you were to come here, be prepared for a culture shock.  Everything is different. The way people are, the goats and cows on the side of the road, the way you will live, the food, the transport, the way of nursing and a million more things. But if you embrace the unknown, you will have a fantastic time and I wouldn’t change it for the world! 🙂 Also, Tanzanian people are some of the nicest people I have met!

I also learned an important lesson not to take life and friends for granted.  Just after I came back to Finland, a close Tanzanian friend of mine passed away because of malaria in the hospital where I worked.  Malaria is  still a big health problem in East Africa and usually it is easily treated if caught early, but sometimes it isn’t.  So, there is still much work to do in preventing malaria deaths and as a nursing student in Tanzania, there is much you can learn and do there.

 

 

 

Back home

My bags are unpacked and my winter clothes are back in my cupboard. It felt quite unreal to come back to Finland.

I have already realised how much I miss the friendliness of Tanzanians, my friends and the sunshine and beaches of course!

Classes have already started again and I will be starting Nursing in International Fields module -the final module before I graduate! It feels quite strange to have been in practice the whole of the autumn in Tanzania and then come out of the other side (theoretically) almost ready to graduate!

I think there have been some advantages and disadvantages to being on exchange in a place so different from Finland.  The main disadvantage being that I haven’t learned many technical skills, such as using advanced electrical equipment or documenting on computers, as my classmates who stayed in Finland have learned. But these skills can be learned later, I think! On the other hand, it feels as if I have seen a great variety of cases and learned about diseases and illnesses not so prevalent in Finland, such as malaria, HIV and sickle cell anaemia.  Also, it was interesting to see the creative use of equipment in Tanzanian hospitals and being able to do your job with very little.