Hello, my name is Lauren and I am a Second-Year Children's Nurse at University. Through University I have been provided with the opportunity to carry out an international elective placement as part of my studies. I am going to be travelling to Tanzania in August 2018 for three weeks, with an organisation called Plan My Gap Year (PMGY), volunteering on their Medical Project. I am hoping to work within different departments within their hospital such as: Paediatrics Department, Neonates and Immunisations and the Maternity and Labour Department. I have always wanted to travel to Africa since being a child and now knowing that I have the opportunity to volunteer by doing something I am so passionate about, that will also contribute to my skills and knowledge during my studies and also help those in need, is an incredible feeling.
I have set myself some academic and personal learning objectives for my time in Tanzania:
- Observe and understand how the health care system works within Tanzania.
- Recognise the differences and similarities in regard to health promotion/education within the hospital, in comparison to the UK.
- Observe, participate and practice basic clinical skills and contribute my knowledge to try and make a difference.
- Develop my verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
- Become more confident, independent and grow as a person.
One of the reasons I have chosen to travel to Tanzania is due to their high population rate of Children and Young People; 41% of the population living in Tanzania are under the age of 15, so I am aware that I may have a high rate of patients. Malaria and other factors such as malnutrition are leading issues for children living in Tanzania and can be fatal. I believe it will be very interesting to look at the signs, symptoms and treatment for such illnesses, which I may not become familiar with in the UK. I want to be able to offer my services by caring for those in need and gain an understanding behind another health care system other than the NHS.
This opportunity is self-funded and I am aiming to raise at least £500. 50% of the money raised will help contribute to my vaccinations I need to go to Tanzania and my work permit and visa which are also mandatory. The other 50% will help pay for patient care (those who can't pay for surgeries/medications/immunisations) and I will also purchase supplies/ resources such as hand sanitisers and gloves.
Thank you so much for taking your time to read this. I know this is going to be a life-changing experience and one in which I am highly excited for. Any donations would be hugely appreciated!!