Internship- We meet again!

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As nice as it has been having a more laid back schedule these last 5 weeks, compared to my hectic nursing 50- hours-a-week-on-20-hours-of-sleep thing I’ve had going on the last 2 and a half years, it was so nice to step foot into a hospital again. I think as I go through my program, I get caught up in the work and the stress. I fail to appreciate how incredible I actually am doing and in that, how incredible of work I am doing in my rotations. Not in a baggy I’m doing amazing way, but just the component of the work itself by caring for people.

When I put on my scrubs again, a piece of my soul ignited up and I felt at place for the first time in 6 weeks. At hospitals here in the Netherlands, uniforms are supplied to every staff member and you kind of scan them out each morning. My badge thankfully worked and let me be the first to say, their sizes run suuuuppppeeerrrr large. Scrubs run large in general but these uniforms run even larger. I wear an XS in pants here and an XXS in shirts here: fair warning to any future students. Also, my badge worked wonders for checking them out but not for getting into the locker room so I scurried my way inside to change.

I spent one day on Obstetrics and two days on Cardiology at  Radboud Medical Centre. It is the largest in Nijmegen and they take all of the critical cases. There are some minor, but vital differences that I noticed in my experience here. First off, there is a plentiful amount of doctors available whenever you need one! One to three is stationed per floor which is just unheard of in the United States. As a result, the doctors are responsible for the physical assessment and observations while the nurses here are responsible for med pass and vitals primarily. This was a huge shock for me as I was ready to do head to toe every 4 hours and I did not even listen to a heart or lung sound.

Aside from the physician difference, their general way of operating day to day is different. Everyone works 8 hour shifts and the nurse before your shift pre prepares your patient’s medications for you. Depending on the nurse you are with, they will double check to make sure it is correct but some of them will not which I thought was different. Hand washing is not as common here and they don’t wear gloves for most procedures. They primarily use hand sanitiser and wash the nurse wash their hands *maybe* once a shift.Again, this varied on the nurse I was with but it appeared to be a common practice.  In my two years in the states, I was border line failed and critiqued immediately for not doing either of those things so I kept that practice when I did my rotations to ensure sanitation.

The last difference I noted was the lack of Caesarean sections, which I appreciated! In the United States, mothers are scheduling cesarean sections like they schedule a dentist appointment and that is not always the way to go. I believe in surgery and it is safe but in my practice, most mothers are signing up for it without knowing exactly what it all entails which can be dangerous. Here, they deliver breech, posterior position, and even omphalocele births, which is almost an immediate C-section in the United States. They also don’t deliver within 72 hours of a mothers water breaking and they will wait as long as 7 weeks! I learned that there is apparently is no evidence based practice for delivering immediately when a mother’s water breaks and she can wait to ensure adequate fetal growth as long as there is no infection present. The more you know!

 

London!

Last post about my trip but certainly not least, the beautiful city of London! Here we spent the most time (and the most money). After being surrounded by the Dutch culture for almost a month, hearing an English speaking society once again was immensely calming. I felt at peace being able to read the menu’s and signs which is why I instantly deemed the city “mini America”. Here is everything about London, the good,the bad and the tours!

The Arrival 

Oh lawdy, we were so glad to arrive. We waited 10 hours at the train station for our train to depart from the CDG airport in Paris and mind you, they do not heat their buildings. It was 47 degrees and we were by the doors. Once our train finally arrived, we then proceeded to wait another hour for our Flixbus. We arrived in Lile and then had to wait another 45 minutes for our next bus to come (in the same weather) at 1 in the morning. By the time our bus came, we were all tired, a tad cranky and ready to get into the warm.

Bailey and I prevailed and we arrived in the heart of London at 7:30 in the morning. Our check in was not until 2 so we decided to get lost. We found ourselves in this park, napping on a bench as it was the first sunny day we had seen in 4 weeks. There was even a zoo in the same park! We got ourselves some coffee and food and before we knew it, it was time to check in! For this portion of our trip, we stayed at the PubLove at The White Ferry Victoria Hostel and might I just say, I entirely recommend this! It came out to be about 20 pounds per person per night and it included breakfast, wifi, showers, bathrooms and a lot of coupons! Each sleeping area had 15 beds in it and you needed access codes to get into each and I felt very secure!

Day Two:

Alright, I’m off my soap box there. I passed out that day out of exhaustion so we woke up bright and early the next day. We did not have a set plan other than to go on the Harry Potter walking tour and to visit the Ripley’s Believe it or not museum so it was a free day! We again grabbed some coffee and went straight to Ripleys! It was astonishing to learn about who Ripley was! He was a very trusted collector and previous U.S. presidents sent him small keepsakes because they knew he would take care of them instead of selling them- how cool! The renowned three headed calf was there amongst all the other creepy crawly things Ripley’s is known for!

After this we grabbed lunch as this restaurant called Nandos. Sophia (our UK friend) recommended this one and it tasted great! We each spent about 10 pounds but we got a delicious burger (I opted to try their famous chicken) and a side. Totally worth visiting, do not leave London without going here! After this we found the Harry Potter walking tour and I HAD A BALL. I got to see some spots where they filmed, where JK Rowling got inspiration for her books, and so so much more. The tour was free and I still gave our tour guide Hagrid some money and a hug because I felt so complete after seeing my favourite series come to life.

From our tour, Hagrid pointed out where they sell discounted theatre tickets. Fun fact, there are 50 theatres in one square which is the most densely populated theatre area in the world! We had looked at prices throughout the day and they averaged 75 pounds a seat so we almost had given up hope. On a whim I decided to go and look and I found tickets to the Lion King for 26 pounds each! This was almost 75% off and I gave Bailey the ” want to be impulsive because why not” grin, and she was just as in as I was. We then booked it to the theatre, tickets in hand and stood for the show of a lifetime.

The Rest:

Day two was an adventure and jam packed day and was hands down the best part of our trip! For the rest of the 4 days, we booked the Big Bus Tours once again as they were having a special buy one day get one free so we got 48 hours of tours for about $40 a person. It seems pricey but it includes three different routes, live commentary, hop on hop off, discount vouchers and a river cruise! We took advantage of all of this and it made the ticket so worth it!

I saw all the sites: the big ben, the river, the london eye, the millennial bridge, St. Pauls Cathedral, the works! Every time I saw the big ben I couldn’t help but fall more in love with it. It is so intricately designed and is truly a work of art. I will never get over it.

And this was pretty much the rest of our trip! Once Sunday came, we grudgingly got back onto our Flixbus and headed to Amsterdam. From there, we caught the train and a bus back to our home away from home: Nijmegen. I spent more money than I wanted and used about all of my travel budget on this trip, but I have zero regrets. I bought experiences and memories I will never forget. And most importantly, I felt at home in London and it made me feel so so much better. Until two days in the future my internet friends!

 

Paris!

As I mentioned a few days ago, I just got back from our holiday in which Bailey and I went to London and Paris. This one is about specifically Paris and pardon any typos, tangents, or more cheesy jokes than usual as this is also our midterm week and I have not had much sleep this week! But here is everything that we did for 3/9 days of our trip!

The Excursions: Heart of Paris 

We took an overnight greyhound  (called FlixBus here) to CDG Airport in Paris. The CDG airport is one of the most frequently used ones but fun fact, it is actually an hour away by train to the “heart of Paris” (aka the eiffel tower and touristy things I wanted to spend my money on). So we hopped on the train half delirious from lack of sleep (because who can really get comfortable on there, right?), and we arrived in the heart of this town. May I just say, the sheer amount of art and architecture was enough to make me stand in awe numerous times. Someone hand crafted a slab of marble with metal tools and formulated a work of art; that’s just incredible.

Once we got off of the train we got our crepe with Nutella (of course)! While we were eating it, we quite literally were asking where the eiffel tower was and then we turned a corner and BAM. There it was, just… there. One of the 7 wonders of the world right in front of our faces; it almost wasn’t real. However, as the closer we got the more realistic it became and I opted to sit in the grass and just take it all in as the sun was rising. I think seeing the 7 wonders of the world is now on my bucket list because each one of them truly are a wonder that makes you stop and stare.

Now prior to coming to Paris, we had pre booked a Big Bus Tour for this city so after our awe was halfway done, we walked on over to our bus! The awe continued. Here we were driven to all of the landmarks I had learned about in history and French class. We walked on the Champs-Élysées swhere Napoleon, Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway stood. We went underneath the Arc De Triumphe and were told about guillotine locations where thousands were beheaded. We walked inside art museums and inside the theatre that inspired Phantom of the Opera. I felt like I was inside a living history book and I am so humbled to have gone.

The Excursions: Disneyland!

Once we got back to central Paris and made our way to our hotel, we just about collapsed in relief to have our backpacks off. Snoozeville soon followed but no sleeping in for us AS THE NEXT DAY WAS DISNEYLAND (my excitement still has not gone down). Tickets in Paris are much much cheaper and they are currently having a sale on them as it is the 25th anniversary of their park! It only cost $140 USD for both of us for a one day park hopper (that’s not even a one day park hopper for one in Disneyland California). Our hotel was affiliated with the park itself so we hopped on our free shuttle and were there when the park opened at 9 am. Off to Sleeping Beauty castle we went and I headed underneath as they have a dragon under there!

Main Street Paris was as magical as one could expect. Shops, balloons, people, screaming children and stressed parents, the works! They had their city hall, meet and greets with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy right at the entrance and that was before you even reached the rides! Bailey and I decided to go on the ones that they did not have in the United States, including Crush’s Coaster, Ratoutille, and their version of Indiana Jones (which did not include a jeep)!

They hold one parade a day and a fireworks show at the end and I teared up. Disney is a very special thing to me as it makes me stop and think that life comes from the small things in life. A story may start out bad and with the odds against you but at some point, in some way, things will get better and a lesson will be learned and it makes me believe in this. I lit up when I saw the mini Cinderella’s  and Tiana’s and swelled with joy at their smiles once I called them Princess. Disneyland spares no expense, forgets no details and leaves you with a little more magic in your step when you leave. 🙂