After spending an entire day in my room feeling sorry for myself I ventured into the dining room to try and eat a bit of something. I was greeted by lots of friendly faces and genuine concern, which I loved. As I carefully put a few vegs on my plate I heard a familiar tune.
“Nicola, she’s got Ebola”, apparently it has become quite a hit in the past 24hours. I managed a couple of bites of dinner and then went back to bed.
The next day was an early rise at 5am, with breakfast at 5:30. I still felt pretty horrendous but couldn’t wait to have a mini break from the short sentence I’d been serving in my room. It was only me, Lynda and Millie going out, the group had been granted a day of rest. Supplies of toilet paper and rehydration sachets had been scattered outside rooms. About half the group have been struck down with the disgusting gastro illness and our group will forever be known as the “spew group”.
Anyway, we were off to a nursing college for the morning to see how they do things over here in Nepal. Our journey was not the most relaxing experience. Our rear lights were out so we had the hazards on whilst navigating slowly through the mist and dark, avoiding cyclists, pedestrians, motorbikes and elephants. We could barely see a meter in front of the car the whole way. The driver did a fab job and we got to the college in one piece.
All of the nursing students were coming in for a 7am start in their beautiful lilac uniforms. We met some of the teachers who told us a bit about the college. This is a college of about 120 students, 40 in each year. They study for three years for a diploma in general nursing, so they cover all topics including paediatric nursing and midwifery. Students can start from about 16years old and they pay for each year of study, I cant remember how much, but it was a substantial amount!
We went into classes and introduced ourselves and explained what we do in England and some of the differences we have seen in practice in Nepal. We openly discussed things like the lack of hand hygiene, and they said they knew how important it is but the hospitals don’t have great facilities and they don’t have time between working with so many patients. We asked what they do if they get needlestick injuries, they said “nothing”. We were horrified, with the prevalence of HIV here that is a pretty scary thought. The teacher explained that the third year students who are involved in a lot of stitching in Caesarean sections are responsible for a lot of needlestick injuries, they all giggled.
We got shown around some of their practice rooms, there was a hospital room with simulation dummies. Their community room was focused on health education, and health promotion, apparently some nurses do home visits but this is mainly health prevention work, which is really positive. They also had a maternity focused room, which seemed well equipped with pictures of foetuses and breast development and another dummy in the room. I couldn’t compare this room to anything back home because we don’t do any midwifery.
After our tour we hung out with the staff whilst we waited for our ride. We had chats about their favourite movies, apparently anything with Angelina Jolie seemed to be a hit and another lady was besotted with “letters to Juliet”. One teacher invited us to her wedding in February, we politely declined as we would no longer be in Nepal at that point. They also invited us to a picnic on Friday but we would be busy working with the volunteer project.
After an interesting couple of hours I was happy to be back at the hotel relaxing and recovering. I started reading some of the book “Little Princes” I was worried I might struggle to get into it as it has rather serious content, but I’m loving the way it is written so far and would highly recommend it from the first couple of chapters.
Life is getting better X