Adult Nursing Student Volunteering in India

BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing

Khalila Darrell, a BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing student from a January cohort, spent two weeks volunteering in India in December 2017. 


Khalila - Go Abroad - India profile

“I choose the India Medical project because as a healthcare assistant, I encountered many Asian Oriented patients and found that communication was difficult and understanding their needs was a challenge. I realised that this could be caused by difference in cultural beliefs and I thought it would be useful to experience first-hand why this was and how I could place myself in a better situation to be a better healthcare provider.”


“I got to experience the full extent of the hospitality and community that life in India has to offer. Their sense of community was an amazing experience. We were invited to many wedding celebrations, which was a huge affair, and treated as if we were a part of the family. They fed us, involved us in the traditional dances and sent us away with food and treats to last days.”

Travelling to India

“Although I relocated to England from Bermuda, I have never travelled independently before. This experience alone was life changing. My volunteering program offered security but also gave us the opportunity to do independent travel over the weekends, which was amazing. Groups of us would sit down and plan where we wanted to go and how we would get there. This teaches you self-management skills and offers amazing experiences, while meeting new people and making friends for life. I was able to see the Taj Mahal and spend a weekend in Goa.”

Differences in healthcare systems

“Professional practice was a completely different experience in India compared with Birmingham. My project involved working in the slum community. The GP office was called the dispensary it was run like a doctor’s office and a pharmacy by one doctor. There were other locations, including a children’s doctor and a woman’s doctor. There was also an eye doctor similar to Birmingham’s Optometrist.

Surgery areas where required anyone entering to take off their shoes on put on slippers to avoid bringing the outside environment into the surgical area. Similar to the surgeons in the NHS wearing Birkenstock's Or Clogs. ”

Future aspirations

“One of my future aspirations is to follow on from my adult Nursing Degree and start the midwifery top-up course. This is something I was not sure about, so I spent a few days with the woman’s doctor, which included lots of contact with pregnant woman. This exposure has strengthened my future aspirations for continuing on to do the midwifery course.

Khalila - Go Abroad - India