International Nursing Program in Tanzania 2015 – This place has been amazing. Our hosts at VETA Mikumi have been so welcoming and have gone far and beyond their duty of making us feel at home. It would be great to be able to repay the favour if someday they ever find themselves in our homes.
The highlight of this trip for me is most definitely the interaction we've had with the tourism students. We had the chance to accompany them on a safari of the Mikumi National Park. Each nursing student and instructor was paired up with a VETA tourism student and got our own personal tour guide. Not only that, we also got mini Swahili lessons along with helping them with English and some French. They're so keen to learn, which is something that I think many students in Canada take for granted.
As nursing students we were also invited into their classroom to give lessons on CPR/First Aid, HIV/AIDS and STI prevention. Everyone was so engaged and they asked so many great questions – so many in fact, we had to cut it short because we'd run out of time. I hope we answered most of them and I hope that if the students have any more questions for us they will feel comfortable approaching us during our remaining time here. This was great practice for my future career which will involve a lot teaching.
Over the two weeks we've been here we've been spending everyday at the St. Kizito Hospital shadowing nurses and doctors to learn how they operate on a day to day basis. The biggest difference between here and Canada, that I've noticed, is the actual role of the nurse. Nurses in Tanzania are masters of many trades, from tooth extraction, wound care, immunization and baby delivery. They cover such a wide range of areas, where as in Canada nurses focus primarily on holistic care rather than just the treatment. It's been very eye opening and educational.
This experience has been something I wouldn't trade for the world. I am looking forward to when I get back home so I can have some more perspective on what I've actually had the opportunity to learn from here. I'm so thankful to be here and I hope that one day when I'm no longer a student, I'll be able to come back to contribute and learn more.
Practical Nursing Student
NSCC Waterfront Campus