I’m standing on my own two feet out here in Colombo, Sri Lanka for my final placement of second year – the DILP (Developing Independent Learning in Practice) placement. After only a week I hardly know where to begin?
I’ve been working in a surgical ward of a private hospital in Sri lanka’s capital so it’s pretty much the best you can expect from medical care in the country.Sri Lanka is a developing country so I knew it wouldn’t be like working in the swish NHS hospitals of Manchester but the main thing that’s surprised me is the difference in the nursing role!
Here nurses are very much still at the beck and call of the medics. All the transcribing, paperwork and admin goes through the nurses here compared to back in England. In fact, even the bread and butter of British nursing – the obs – are done by doctors here!
In one awkward exchange a doctor began to take a patient’s BP and I said “Oh don’t worry I just took it – it was 138/80” the other nurses looked horrified and the doctor looked shocked and confused but swiftly the moment passed and he carried on taking the patient’s blood pressure. I felt insulted! Like my skills weren’t being trusted? But this is a different culture and with different ways of doing things. I had to come to terms with the reality – It wasn’t me! – It was the system!
The nursing hierarchy is very different, with no matrons or specialist nurses. The sister’s usually muck in and take on patients therefore leadership within the ward is much more abstract.
I’m very much enjoying the start of this new adventure in my nursing education and feel very privileged to have been afforded such an experience.
I’ll keep you all informed of progress week by week, any questions you have for me or questions you’d like me to ask the staff please do email in or comment on our Facebook page!