Choosing to do a nursing internship through Work the World was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I spent three weeks in the operating theater at the teaching hospital, and then a week in a local village. Before I departed the Work the World staff were extremely helpful and supportive. They made frequent calls to make sure that I had all the information I needed and answered all of my questions. With the “mytrip” login page and the information pack I felt completely prepared for my trip, and didn’t feel like I was missing anything when I got there.
Arriving in Kathmandu was completely stress-free because Sean, the program manager, was waiting for me at the airport and took me back to the Work the World house. On the way to the house he told me all about the city, places I should go, and things that I should do while I was there. Our city orientation the next day was a great welcome to Kathmandu and lots of fun! We went to a local restaurant and ate Momos and Dal Bhat, visited the beautiful Garden of Dreams, walked through the busy streets of Thamel, and did some shopping in the markets.
the Work the World staff were extremely helpful and supportive
The Work the World house is absolutely beautiful! It was a great place to relax and hangout with the other students. Sean and the rest of the Work the World staff made it feel like our home away from home! The housekeeper always kept the house impeccably clean, and was always around if we needed anything. Krishna made the most delicious food; and even let us make requests. I especially loved Wednesdays because it was barbeque night. We ate outside, listened to music, and just had a great time hanging out together.
Our first few days at the hospital, Sean came with us to make sure that everything with our placement was perfect. He introduced us to our supervisors, and took us to our units. Everything about our placement was well organized and went smoothly. The staff members in the operating theater were so friendly and helpful. They almost all spoke some English, although I had a fun time trying to speak Nepali with them!
It was definitely a bit of a culture shock at first to see the way that surgery was performed. While the infection control measures were not up to western standards, they really did the best that they could with the resources they had. Disposable gloves, endotracheal tubes, and surgical supplies were all cleaned and re-used on multiple patients. The surgical techniques they used were a bit outdated, and very minimal anesthesia was used.
The nurses taught me how to do system checks on the ventilators, prepare the anesthetic drugs, and prep the room for surgery. During the surgery I helped the scrub nurse with retrieving needed supplies and medications. The doctors and nurses were eager to teach and explained all of the procedures to me and were very helpful. The three weeks I spent in the OT was eye opening and really a great learning experience!
Kathmandu is truly a beautiful city and so full of energy! There are so many things to see and do in the city. We visited Durbar Square, the Kumari house, and the largest Stupa in Nepal! My favorite place to visit was Swayambhunath or the “monkey temple.” It is located on a large hill, and has a spectacular view of the city, and there are hundreds of playful monkeys! We also did a weekend trip to Chitwan National Park to ride the elephants, and a trip to Pokhara to go paragliding. There are endless things to see and do in Kathmandu!
The Village Healthcare Experience was really the highlight of my trip! We took a three-hour bus ride (with spectacular views), and then did a short trek to get to the village. Our guide, Achyut, and the rest of the Dhakal family were amazing and treated us like family. There was a huge welcome for us in the health post and each of the women gave us flower necklaces and blessed us. The villagers were so happy we were there and all wanted to get to know us.
During the day we were in the health post seeing all different kinds of illnesses- although the majority were infections, arthritis pain, and respiratory complaints. The health post only has about 20 drugs supplied by the government, so we were limited in our treatment options. We also visited 2 other local villages and saw patients outside of the local school. Many villagers gathered around and watched us assist treating the patients while they waited for their turn to be seen.
In the afternoons we did all kinds of things around the village. We trekked to a bat cave, went swimming in the river, helped to plant rice, cut grass to feed the animals, and even carried large baskets with our heads the way the villagers do!
The food was absolutely delicious, and we ate on the floor with our hands, which was a lot of fun! After dinner there was often singing and dancing, and always lots of laughs and good times. The kindness of the Dhakal family and all of the villagers is something I could never forget!
If you are thinking about doing an internship with Work the World- go for it! You absolutely will not regret it. Just remember to keep an open mind and try to embrace the culture. If you do I promise you will have the time of your life!