I chose to go to Kathmandu in Nepal because it was recommended to me by Work the World as a good place to experience another country’s midwifery practice.
Maternity care and the role of midwives are relatively new concepts in Nepal’s healthcare system.
My first impression of Kathmandu was amazement at how people were able to cope with the lack of resources available.
The healthcare system was so different and hard to witness at times because I was used to a certain level of care given in my own country.
As a result of my placement, I have become more resourceful and have a deeper understanding of how things are possible even with a lack of money and resources and how to cope when equipment is not available.
The most memorable case from my placement was a lady delivering in the relatively new maternity birth centre. I got to witness the nurses providing all of the care independently, which was a relatively new practice in Nepal as doctors were usually the main clinicians who delivered babies on the labour ward.
It was lovely to witness this practice in another country as the care given was excellent and the outcomes for both the mother and baby were just as good.
There was also great postnatal support and a patient’s family play a pivotal role within this. The women were well supported and a lot of time was made to ensure they were happy with feeding their baby and recovering.
The biggest difference in healthcare and Kathmandu was the lack of resources and equipment, as well as the differences in the role of the midwife.
I felt that the differences regarding equipment, which were solely to do with the lack of money the hospital had, were almost unavoidable.
the doctors delivered every baby, even if there were no complications indicated.
On the high-risk labour ward, nurses were not recognised as one of the main caregivers. For example, the doctors delivered every baby, even if there were no complications indicated. I understood that it was not part of the culture for nurses to deliver babies on a high-risk labour ward.
I went to Pokhara for a weekend and Chitwan National Park for another. These were great experiences and so much fun as it brought me closer to my housemates and gave me a nice break away from placement.
Both places were beautiful and a huge contrast to city life in Kathmandu. I would really recommend both Pokhara and Chitwan to everyone as there were a range of activities and things to do there.
In the evenings, my housemates and I explored the gems of the city, visiting various temples and even climbing a mountain to see an amazing monastery, and of course, we did plenty of market shopping too.
I was always experiencing the city and tasting the amazing food on offer and really embracing the culture around me.
I would recommend and encourage any healthcare student to do an elective placement overseas as it teaches you to be resourceful and to be thankful for the high-quality care we are able to provide in the UK. I would recommend approaching the experience with an open mind and you will really enjoy it.