Hyvvee päevee tiältä Savon mualta!

Here I am, back in snowy Finland. Spending the last days of holiday in Itä-Savo with my family.  A lot happened after the previous post including the end of the practical training, moving back to Taipei, trying to get every last bit out of the country I fell in love with, missing my flights due stomach flu (everything can really happen!!) and finally flying back home just for Christmas eve.

The exchange period in Taiwan was one of the best experiences in my life. I feel like I was living there, not just visiting as a tourist. I did altogether 14 weeks of training in atleast 9 or more different wards (if all the introduction visits e.g. are also counted). The training was intense and I didn’t have time to study any theory courses at the university wich is a shame, but I enjoyed my time. I feel like this experience gave me not only practical learning but also the experience that helps me to see the world better.

After I finished the training I went to do the last tourist experiences I was still missing out. I went to the cat village, seriously a village full of stray cats you could feed the catfood bought from convenience store (so hilarious :’D). I went to see the old parts of Taipei with red chinese lanterns and narrow stairways aswell as the new and poshy parts with shopping malls full of expencive boutiques and well dressed people. I also travelled to Kending, a place in southern Taiwan to learn more surfing. Really good waves there! Traveling alone was simple and felt safe because people in Taiwan are really helpful and trustworthy.


Souvenir shop in Cat Village ^-^


Taroko National Park

When I left Taiwan and travelled back home I had mixed feelings. At the same time I wanted to go home to Finland and see my family and friends and spend the best time of the year there (I just love winter and snow), but I also didn’t want to leave the beautiful and friendly country and all the new friends and people I met. I miss Taiwan a lot and I’m sure that I will travel back there soon, maybe this time with one way ticket only… To the ending of this blog I want to share the unknown quote that sums up my feelings at the moment:

” You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That’s the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”

Thank you all for reading my blog! -Jatta

One more picture to the end:


First it was weird, then I learned to love it and now I’m urging it! The spicy soup with vegetables, pigblood cake, intestine, stinky tofu, seafood, mushrooms and noodles. Something I can’t get from Finland :'(

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About breastfeeding

你們 好=Hello everyone!

Here I am sitting in my dormitory room and drinking bubble milk tea. Bubble milk tea is a typical Taiwanese tea drink that people here loves (usually served cold). What makes it special are the “bubbles” aka chewy (someone might say slimy) tapioka balls in the bottom of the drink that you can chew while drinking the delicious milk tea. I have came to conclusion that people here likes to chew jelly textured things in their foods, snacks and drinks. Another example of that is moachi that is a very chewy, almost like gum textured, snack made of rice flour. Interesting differences, but I guess these snacks for locals are like salmiakki for Finnish people. So good, but so weird for foreigners!

So for today’s topic I want to write about breastfeeding. In Finland I have learned that breastfeeding is the most important issue after world peace and global warming (just joking…). As a soon to be midwife I completely  understand the benefits of breastfeeding and support it totally since it’s the most natural thing to do.

As far as I know, in Taiwan nurses and doctors seems to encourage all mothers to breastfeeding just like in Finland. A major difference is that in Taiwan mothers have only one month of maternity vacation  after giving birth as a part of the Chinese tradition. The one month “vacation” after delivery includes e.g. rest, staying warm and eating some traditional Chinese foods. New mother should avoid all the housework and cooking during that time and usually grandmother and mother in law will prepare the traditional dishes for the new mother.

After one month, most mothers will go back to work. Therefore it is extremely important to teach all postpartum women how to express breast milk by hand and how to use a breast milk pump. Also preserving the breast milk in refrigerator and freezer is important information for parents. One day I saw another nurse at the hospital using breast milk pump by herself during a lunch brake. She told me that she has a two months old baby at home…  I feel privileged to live in a country that has the worlds longest maternity leave.

Public breastfeeding is still an issue for some people in Finland since they tend to forget the true purpose of woman breasts, feeding the infant. Still there are many women breastfeeding in public and I think that’s good. In Taiwan, public breastfeeding is still a taboo. Women here are extremely self-conscious about their bodies and breastfeeding is very private thing between mother and a child. Still I feel that the breastfeeding is supported everywhere in Taiwan. That is because in every public places like hospitals, MRT stations, shopping malls, train stations and even in post office there is usually a place called “breastfeeding room”. The room is for one or multiple woman (separated with curtains) and it offers a comfortable chair to sit and feed and a diaper changing station for baby.

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Ni hao!

What has been up lately? Long story short, I moved to the new city called Yilan (small town they say…), had a stomach flu that I luckily survived pretty easily (one high fever peak and three days of rest and good hydration) and spilled some soup to my keyboard (it`s not working right now but lets just wait for day or two for it to dry and keep our fingers crossed).

Last two weeks I have been doing my training in NBR and SBR. NBR is short for newborn room and SBR for sick baby room. I’m getting so confused with all these letter combinations here. They have shortenings for everything!



Newborn room.


After born, all the healthy babies will get a short moment in skin to skin contact before the nurses take him/her to newborn room for full body soap bath, measurements and all the evaluations one can imagine. Baby might be in newborn room for few hours before he/she is able to go to his/hers mother for breastfeeding. If there has been many deliveries in a short period of time, you can only imagine the sound of all the tiny hungry people crying for breast milk…

Now it’s my time to start doing pop-ups and push-ups to build my surfing muscles. Yes, last weekend I tried surfing for the first time in my life and it got me totally stoked! >:)

Good night you all!

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Oh hai!

Long time no posting… I’m so sorry -.-

I promise to TRY post more often… It’s just there is so much to do and see and learn everyday that sitting in front of my computer and typing is not really the first thing in my mind. Actually last week and weekend was all just studying for me because I had to make a power point presentation about the things I have learned here. It was mildly distressing situation to perform in front of all my supervisors, head nurses and  the president of the hospital (and I had to do that in English of course…!!). But I feel so proud of myself now when it’s over ^-^

So the last eight weeks I have spent my days in different departments of Veterans General Hospital. After the orientation in pediatrics and practicing in delivery room I went to the obstetrics ward. There I first observed and took care of post postpartum mothers (mothers after delivery) and then focused on pregnant women hospitalized due different reasons for example threatened premature labor and pre-eclampsia. Last two weeks I have been in obstetrics and gynecologic Out Patient Department to join the regular pregnancy checkups. I have also had the chance to see the pediatric clinics  and observe the regular checkups and vaccinations of newborns and little children.

The topic I would like to write about today is Taiwan’s health insurance system. Local people and especially health care professionals are very proud of Taiwan’s health insurance and I have to admit (despite the fact that Finnish health insurance system is one of the worlds  best) that I am impressed. Almost every Taiwanese citizen has the health insurance card (similar to Finnish Kela card…?) they can use in both public and private health care institutions. The insurance will cover the costs of checkups, some materials (e.g. wound care supplies) and some medicine (some are for self pay only). For pregnant women, the government will provide 10 free prenatal checkups and one ultrasound for free. If families need more checkups and closer following of the pregnancy, the health insurance will cover the costs so it is very cheap for parents to have more checkups if needed.

It’s amazing that I have also started to become more and more interested about Finland’s society systems and welfare after leaving the country and coming here. Seriously me!? I have never liked history and social studies in school but now I have been finding myself reading about Finnish welfare system and taxation during the lunch break?! 😀 Well they say that travel broadens…!



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Delivery room!

Whoa! Last Monday I started the practical training in labor/delivery room and I feel so inspired every day after practice. When I have been able to witness a totally different ways to treat the delivery, I am most impressed about the fact that in Finland we have this amazingly talented group of professionals who have so much knowledge and wisdom about the most important moment on ones life. Midwifes. In Taipei, there is no profession called “midwife” and the tasks that Finnish midwifes does are here done by doctors and nurses from labor/delivery room, surgery, pediatrics and maternity ward.

Let me tell you more about the normal vaginal birth. When the first part of the labor starts (with labor constructions, water breaking etc.) the mother will come to the labor room. Father and supportive persons are allowed to be with the mother in the labor room (I don’t think there is a limit for the amount of supportive persons that can join the mother in the labor room). In the labor room, mother has a possibility to use a birth ball and move a little, but not too much because the room is quite small. When the cervix is fully dilated the nurses will guide mother how to push and she can start pushing. In my experience this part of the labor is very similar that in Finland.

When the top of the baby’s head starts to peek out, mother will be rushed to the delivery room. Father can also join after he has put on a protective clothes, hat and a mask. Delivery room in Taipei VGH looks like something between Finnish delivery room and a surgery room. As soon as the mother is inside the delivery room, nurses will wash and disinfect the whole genital area with Petidine and cover the mothers legs and belly with sterile cloths. The doctor who delivers the baby will also be wearing the sterile clothes, mask and gloves. Doctor will cut the episiotomy wound always for every mother. I think that the baby is born very fast and because of the big episiotomy, the baby’s shoulders are born almost immediately after the head. No one will wait for the second rotations of the baby. Mother can see a glimpse of her baby (depending on doctor I guess..?) before the baby is put to the heated baby bed. At the baby bed one nurse will suck baby’s respiratory tracks while the other nurse is drying the baby.   Nurses will also check baby’s palate, spine, clavicles, hips, fontanels and anus. They will also check Moro reflex immediately after birth. After all these checkups, baby will be put to skin to skin contact for mother. Mother and baby will be transferred back to labor room in skin contact right after the doctor  has finished sewing the episiotomy wound. Nurses will observe the mother for one hour before moving her to maternal ward. Baby will be transferred to neonatal ward (also the healthy babies!) for bathing and measurements. After one to two hours baby will be given back to the mother for breastfeeding.

There seems to be so many differences between delivery by doctor and delivery by midwife and I feel interested to see and learn more everyday. Remember that these texts are all based on my experience and the things I see, hear and try to understand in a foreign country with a foreign language. I hope there will be no major misunderstandings 🙂

Now I’ll leave this cafe with free wi-fi and start my journey towards food! Bàibài!! (as they say it in Chinese)

Training in hospital and… Babies!!! Finally!

I can’t believe it’s already a third week here!? How come the time goes by so fast?

Last week I started my practical training at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital (VGH) and unlike I thought and said at  the previous post, I didn’t go to the labor room. Instead I ended up going to the pediatric oncology and hematology ward for two weeks. When I first heard about going to the pediatric ward, I felt very off place because pediatric oncology has a little to do with my studies. However I soon noticed that the ward is an excellent place to learn! The nurses have introduced us to their procedures and some of them seems a lot better than what we do in Finland! For example in the pediatric ward, safety of the patient is the most important thing in everything. Nurses have this “double check” system in medication, chemotherapy, blood transfusion, lab samples, doing procedures…. even when taking vital signs! Double check means they’ll have to open all the electronic patient papers with bar code found from the patient bracelet. That’s how the nurse will always check the patients identity by herself and the bar code reader/computer confirms it. It seems for me that Taipei VGH is extremely advanced hospital and very high in technology.

Still it has not only been pediatric oncology for the last week. At Thursday we got to see the neonatal ward and a tiny glimpse of maternity ward (I’m so excited to go there after few weeks!). There were also healthy mature babies in neonatal ward so it seems that all the newborn babies go there at first…? I’ll have to check that fact later. It was amusing to notice that babies are babies no matter of country. There were A LOT of crying, eating, pooping and sleeping in a neonatal ward. But one thing was somehow different compared to Finnish babies… Taiwanese babies they all have so much hair!!! 😀


So what else has been going on in my life besides practical training… Not much I guess. Just a lot of eating and eating and eating and eating. In Taipei one truly have to eat all the time to get really into the culture, so my goal is to taste everything! At the moment I have eaten stinky tofu, dumplings with beef, pork, vegetables and shrimp, fried chicken, hot pot with basically everything you can imagine, lot of different noodles, sushi, fish balls, a million soybean jelly textured things in delicious sauces…. The list will continue to eternity! >:)

Little crabs, stinky tofu, pork and rice something and an omelet...? I don't remember the names but delicious!!!

Little crabs, stinky tofu, pork and rice something and an omelet…? I don’t remember the names but delicious!!!


Good night y’all! <3

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First week in Taipei!

First week in Taipei has been overwhelming. In a positive way. So much has happened that I don’t even know where to start… Also this whole blog writing thing is all new to me  O.O

Maybe I should start by introducing myself. My name is Jatta and I’m a midwife student. I have already studied three years nursing and midwifery and done almost all of the theory and practical studies. Last autumn I got this crazy idea to save some of my last practices and go somewhere far far away to complete my studies. I think teachers were not that happy about me going exchange to do specializing practices so they recommended I should go Sweden or even better Åland :’D But I wanted to go to Asia and here I am in Taipei Taiwan.

Me and a third year nursing student Roosa arrived in Taipei last Monday 25.8.2014 Our flight was 16h long and went via Moscow and Hong Kong. Also our luggage didn’t travel with us beyond Hong Kong, but that’s a whole different story. Our arrival was extremely well coordinated. Miriam Chou, National Yang Ming University’s international coordinator, send us a detailed directions of how to get to Yang Ming University from airport and was waiting for us at the international office. She had organized a welcoming lunch with school director Tang, assistant professor Wang and other important persons. We also met some nursing students at lunch who helped us with literally everything!


Women dormitory 1

Women dormitory 1

View from the mountains of Yangmingshan National Park

View from the mountains of Yangmingshan National Park

Since our arrival we have been in Yangmingshan national park, Shilin night markets, some exciting food places, Taipei zoo, Maokong Gondola ride and many other interesting and beautiful places. Nursing students from Yang Ming University have been extremely helpful and great at introducing us to the city and culture (and food!). It has all been really exciting! From the moment iIstepped out of the airplane I felt like this is the place to be. At Monday I’ll start the practical training at labor room and I think you can all guess… I’M SO EXCITED!!! 8)

Sunset  at my new home <3

Sunset at my new home <3

Till next time, Jatta

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