Adult Nursing – Thailand (Worldwide Volunteering)
BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
Stacey Louise McBride and Amino Ahmed were on their second year of the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing course when they took part in two different medical volunteering projects in Thailand. Here is what they thought about their experience:
“I chose this particular country after a lot of thought and research into different projects nursing related. This project offered an exciting opportunity to travel to a country where healthcare is very different and somewhere we don’t really hear enough about.” Stacey McBride
“I really enjoyed doing this medical programme in Thailand and it was one of the best experiences of my life. We learnt so much about the Thai culture and the people whilst we were on placement. We worked in a clinic in the rural side of Thailand and engaged in health maintenance screening, consultations, wound care, home visits, and community health projects. Our team leader taught us basic Thai words to communicate with the patients and staff. The nursing staff were very kind and were always there to help us with anything we needed. Although we were on placement in the weekdays, we really liked how on the weekends our team leader would organise activities for us to do and she even helped us organise a trip to Cambodia." Amino Ahmed
“During my time in Thailand I met some incredible people, who I will never forget. I practiced in a field hospital right in the middle of a farming village in Surin. The hospital was very basic and opened my eyes to how lucky we are to have the NHS. I learnt a lot about myself as a person and as a Nurse.
My fondest memory was working in the community. To work in the community and enter the homes of the Thai people really inspired me. They had very little, but were supported by the local hospital, nurses and volunteers within the village. This was a very emotional, moving and humbling day. I got to explore on my own and with my house mates, who were all out there alone doing different projects. I spent time in Bangkok and I travelled to Koh Samet.” Stacey McBride
Differences in professional practice
“Professional practice in Thailand is very different to how we practice in England. Some elements were very culture shocking but expanded my knowledge on how other countries differ from our healthcare system. The Nurses that ran the hospital have trained for 5 years and they were solely autonomous, working alone and with a group of Nurses making decisions.” Stacey McBride
“The nursing practice in Thailand was completely different to the one in Birmingham. In the clinic, the staff used simple wound care dressings for all types of wounds whereas in Birmingham we’re likely enough to have different types of dressings for different types of wounds. The equipment we used in the clinic was very new to us and we have never seen them in Birmingham, as our equipment is more advanced.” Amino Ahmed
“Travelling across the world on my own is definitely an achievement for me and it has definitely built up my confidence. I also noticed that I can work within my limitations as a Nurse, adapting to my surroundings very quickly responding to many barriers, one being communication.
Working with the team of Nurses and Doctors daily showed me that as a team you really can achieve anything. Each day we would rely on each other for knowledge and skills and show the Thai people how we do things, learning from each other.” Stacey McBride
“I learnt so many new things and have learnt some old skills in a new way. I feel like I’m culturally competent now when it comes to the Thai culture and their belief system. Volunteering in Thailand has really prepared me for third year, it has made me get out of my comfort zone and become more confident. As a nursing volunteer in Thailand, I really got to see the importance of healthcare in the rural areas and got a greater understanding of the standards of medical practice in Thailand.” Amino Ahmed
“I would recommend all HELS students to do volunteering abroad if they’re able to. It’s a once in a life time opportunity, you learn so much and it really opens your mind. You gain many new skills and you also become more confident and culturally competent. The recruitment market is very challenging at present and will be even more challenging in the near future, by volunteering your application will stand out as it shows that you have took part in some meaningful activities and it will also show an employer that you are person who is skilled, capable and knowledgeable in many things.”