January 24, 2019

Nursing abroad: is it really so different?

Charlotte Smith


We have all heard the demoralising stories that the National Health Service has been shrouded in in recent years. It is true, the seam may be at bursting point, but are we taking this for granted? Going to a hospital abroad made me reflect on the values we put on our health services and how care is perceived.

Me as the outsider looking in, coping with how this felt and having to immerse myself in practices that would not be considered, what some may call, particularly orthodox. Coming in with a certain prejudice was soon stripped away in the understanding that healthcare systems vary from culture to culture, and this does not necessarily mean one is better than the other. Yet seeing the certain struggles of this place abroad created perspective, an aspect that I believe can be quickly forgotten. Although this does not account for the issues at large, it taught me that the smaller things really do matter, as with any healthcare systems, it was the nurturing of the ‘good stuff’ that really made the difference.