Over the four weeks I was there, I will never forget all the interesting things I witnessed.
When working on the wards I gained knowledge in the way the nurses managed a patient’s care, by assessing a patient, how they took basic observations, and how wound care was carried out with the most basic and minimal amounts of equipment.
I improved my communication skills, as not everyone was able to translate for me, so I was able to pick up a small part of their language to help me gain consent. And I also learned the importance of greeting someone and introducing yourself.
I feel that I also gained further practice in leadership and the importance of being a role model for others and setting an example.
I would like to think that there were times they gained some knowledge from me and in the way we would do things in the UK. I understood that we obviously have more resources available to us, but the simpler things such implementing a regular turn around chart on a patient who lacks mobility can prevent pressure sores or the use of some wound dressing that they have.
When I wasn’t working at the hospital, I had the chance to do a little bit of exploring of Malawi and whilst doing this, I got to see some amazing and breathtaking views of Lake Malawi. The Lake has a reputation for its gorgeous warm sand and its clear fresh water. I never got use to the fact that it was a Lake, due to the size of it.
I was also fortunate enough to have met some amazing and inspiring people such as Dr Lyn Dowds, an Irish doctor who is working at the hospital through the missionary of her local church, the healthcare staff who make a difference to so many daily, and the amazing community I lived in for four weeks who I will never forget, as without them my trip would have been incomplete.
Overall the huge amount I was lucky enough to experience has made me develop more as a nurse and as an individual. I’ve learned that there is more to life than money and large amounts of choice at a supermarket.
Malawi has taught me the importance of health and how quickly this can be taken away from you. I know I want to go back to Africa again as it feels that a part of me is still out there and I don’t think it will ever come back. People say that you get the ‘bug’ to go back out there. If this is the case, I have a big bug.