Katherine’s Nursing Elective in Tanzania
I am a third year nursing student from the University of Edinburgh and last summer I went to Dar es Salaam for my nursing elective. It was an amazing experience and I would encourage any nursing students to take this incredible opportunity. Act4Africa was great, with a training session before departure and regular contact before and during my trip.
The Amana hospital was certainly very different from anything I have experienced here in the UK. It was exhausting but so rewarding to work there and I learned so much and got to practice so many skills (and got to cuddle lots of very cute babies!!). The staff were all very kind and were all very interested to hear about healthcare and hospitals in the UK and how it is free! The hospital has limited resources so it’s definitely very useful to take your own basic supplies with you and you’ll find that everyone is borrowing them constantly.
When I wasn’t at the hospital I managed to go on safari for a weekend, visit some of the beautiful beaches and islands and go to the local museums and markets. I also stayed in Zanzibar for two weeks following the hospital placement which was incredible! Tumaini, who works for Act4Africa in Dar es Salaam, was very helpful and I knew if I had needed anything she would have been able to assist. The hotel I stayed in was very nice, with air conditioning and comfortable rooms. The staff were very friendly and the restaurant was very nice. I learned Swahili as I went along and was able to hold a conversation. It was quite difficult trying to communicate sometimes but the nurses and doctors can all speak at least some English and medicine is taught in English so that was easy to understand.
This trip was such an amazing opportunity that would not have been possible without Act4Africa. I definitely want to return to Dar es Salaam in the future and especially to the Amana hospital. Thank you so much!!