University of Illinois at Chicago 2015

Nursing, The Philippines Iloilo

My university doesn’t require I do a placement, but I chose to do one anyway and am so glad I did! I wanted to pursue an overseas healthcare experience for the summer, and had heard positive feedback from a girl on my nursing program about her trip to Tanzania with Work the World. They seemed very organized and helpful from the start. I liked the idea of so this was a great way to meet so many new people.

Before the trip I felt well informed and my questions were always answered. The My Trip page was very informative and easy to navigate. All of the staff I spoke with on the phone throughout the process were very eager to help me. Even with the time difference, they were always quick to email or call back as soon as possible.

Once I arrived in Iloilo, the airport pickup and transfer to the house were very easy and very quick. As soon as I got my bags I recognized a Work The World staff member in the trademark blue t-shirt, and we got a taxi straight to the house.

The welcome briefing, orientation, and hospital introductions went well. I felt like I was right at home in the house and everyone at the hospital was eager to meet the students. The in country support was also great. All the Work The World staff members were accommodating, friendly, and familiar with Iloilo, so made recommendations and were happy to give us directions.  

The food in the house was always amazing! It was nice to experience both Filipino foods and still have some meals from home every once in awhile.

Dahlberg, KristenThe hospital placement was a great experience. I had 2 weeks in ER, 1 week in the animal bites outpatient clinic, and 1 week in labor and delivery. The ER was very busy and there were a lot of patients to be taken care of. I was able to perform CPR multiple times, insert many IV cannulas, and practice assessment skills. The animal bites clinic allowed me to perform many injections, and the staff in there were incredibly friendly. In labor and delivery I was able to assist in delivering a baby and two placentas as well as giving newborns hepatitis injections.

The ER was very busy and there were a lot of patients to be taken care of. I was able to perform CPR multiple times, insert many IV cannulas, and practice assessment skills.

The hospital was different from any hospital I had seen, which was hard to get used to at first. The families of patients are responsible for bathing and general bedside care. As such, my knowledge and previous experience of healthcare was really challenged. This was often a topic of conversation back at the house, where sharing what you’ve seen that day becomes routine.

During my fifth and final week I chose to take the Village Healthcare Experience, and I’m so glad I did. Although very different from life at the house, it was great to experience Filipino culture more closely. The family we stayed with were very welcoming and really excited to show us their way of life. The hospital there was much smaller than the hospital in Iloilo, and so far less busy.

Traveling on the weekends was easily done. I went to Boracay, Antique (pronounced an-tee-kay), and Isla de Gigantes all by van or boat. I also journeyed to Palawan for a long weekend by plane. We usually went as a group and had a great time everywhere. Boracay was gorgeous - your typical beach vacation destination and so perfect for a relaxing change in pace. On the other hand, Antique was a weekend for adventure. We hiked to waterfalls, swam in a fresh spring, went zip lining, and snorkeled.

Dahlberg, KristenIsla de Gigantes had to be my favorite weekend - it was so beautiful and camping on the beach was amazing. Island hopping all weekend to different gorgeous islands never got old. In Palawan, I visited the underground river which is a famous destination in the Philippines.

I recommend taking every opportunity to travel, and the staff at the Work The World house can recommend places to go and give details on how to get there.

Dahlberg, Kristen

For future students I recommend having an open mind when coming to the Philippines. Take every opportunity you can to see something new or practice your skills because there are so many opportunities available if you to pursue them. It was an amazing experience and I would definitely recommended coming to Iloilo with Work The World.

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