May 21, 2019, by sleatherland

Elective placement in China

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be showcasing the international opportunities available to students in the School of Health Sciences. For our Nursing students, both BSc and GEN students arrange an elective placement and have the potential to go anywhere in the world.

Elective students have worked in over 30 different countries including Australia, Barbados, Germany, Hong Kong, USA, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, and other sub-Saharan developing countries.

Rachel Czipak is in her second year of studying BSc Nursing (Adult) and shares her experience of her overseas elective placement in China.

I come from a small town where the population is a mere 104,400. (Chesterfield Facts and Figures, n.d.) So, tackling a major city that boasts a population of 21.54million (Beijing Population, 2019) really put into perspective for me how many people there really are in this world.

Travelling to China as part of my elective required me to open my mind, change the way I think, adapt to new surroundings and allow my senses to feel something new with fantastic sights of sky high buildings and historical monuments to the sounds of new languages and a bustling, busy Beijing.

My personal account can never give the beautiful city of Beijing the justice it deserves. However, it can provide a small insight into a large amount that can be experienced during an elective placement visit.

The purpose of my trip was to explore the world of nursing from the perspective of another culture. China was a perfect location for this investigation as it boasts its own take on medical issues by treating some conditions with Traditional Chinese Medicine methods as oppose to western interventions. This was a very interesting aspect of the trip where we were invited to look at the different aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, how it works and how it is made.

For anyone travelling to China for their elective, this is a MUST!

The hospital itself comes in two parts… The original building of Peking Union Medical College Hospital which was founded in 1921. (PUMC Introduction, n.d.)  With its stunning architecture and the newer modern hospital that resembles something from The Matrix with its savvy, state of the art technology.

Other areas that we were invited to see took place in the outpatient department and various wards around the hospital. Areas included a surgical ward, a physio department and outpatient clinics which enhanced our experiences because it showed how their healthcare services operate in comparison to those provided by the NHS.

I couldn’t believe the amount of people that were about. From the amount of staff on the wards to the numbers of patients arriving to the hospital for appointments.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of the hospital because it gave insight to what Chinese healthcare professionals do differently to those that work in the NHS and where there is scope for improvement. Elements of nursing such as personal care are a part of the patients’ family’s tasks. I found this difficult to comprehend at first, but after understanding the culture a little more I found that this is the norm and actually relieves the nurses to get on with other caring duties that families can’t do.

Another interesting aspect of Chinese nursing is the way in which their policies and procedures differ…

Can you imagine physically lifting a patient without any equipment?

Chinese nurses are much more patient focused whereas the NMC teaches UK nurses to protect themselves in related situations by using a hoist or PAT slide.

My memories of China will last a lifetime. There are so many elements that sum up my experience; from making new friends to adapting a new lifestyle and experiencing a different healthcare system. It all came together to form one of the best trips and experiences of my life.

Thank you, Rachel for your fantastic blog post! If you’re interested in contributing a post about your study experiences in the School of Health Sciences, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Marketing team:

Posted in Elective placementsInternationalStudent life