+977-9851088020, 9849056230 Thamel, Kathmandu Nepal Post Box No: 13481 Email: contact@futurenepal.org

Name: Rachel Metheringham
Country: UK
Gender: Female
Program: Health Post Volunteer

1. What did your average day look like?

Between December 20 – 29, 2013 I worked on behalf of a NGO called Future of Nepal as a registered nurse located within Meghauil Chitwan.
During a 4-day routine in Meghauil I worked in the local government hospital providing antenatal care. In addition, I observed the local doctor provide rapid care to patients who presented with various minor illnesses with perceived or acute physical, emotional, psychological alterations of health, that further interventions.
In addition to this on the 24th December, me and the midwife ran an antenatal clinic performing antenatal checkups on 20 patients who attended the clinic that day.
The average hospital working hours contained 4 – 5 hr shifts in the morning whereby I would start at 10 am and finish at 2 or 3 pm. After the shift I worked 4hr shifts in the local pharmacy attached to a private clinic which was located 3 KM away from the hospital.
At the local pharmacy I worked alongside the pharmacy assistant providing health advice to the local people who sought advice regarding their minor illnesses and where necessary perform a set of observations.

Following this experience I was able to gain an understanding of how the local government hospital worked and what treatment, investigations were made available to people accessing government healthcare. Further to this; I gained much broader knowledge about Nepal’s healthcare system from a government respect: what is achievable under the ministry of health low cost budget.
Notably I was able to share my knowledge and skills with the midwife to improve patient care and overall improve the healthcare standards in the hospital.

Further to this experience I was very lucky to encounter other achievements, besides this 3-day routine at the government hospital, for instance, I traveled to Chitwan and worked in nursing college for 4 days whereby I was involved in teaching various subjects such as Basic neonatal, child, adult basic life support, management of severe burns, life saving emergency skills in newborn care. The lectures contained 1 – 2 hrs non- practical and practical teaching sessions with the use of little resources and limited electricity. To help enhance what was said in the lectures a teacher would translate on my behalf and I used power point presentations, download video presentations and furthermore paper copy handouts was given. Equally I spent time sharing literary resources with the teachers to enhance their knowledge and to share with future nursing students. This however is an on-going project whereby I hope to send used medical books to the nursing college library which currently contains only 20 books to 140 students.
In contrast to my experience when working at the nursing college and at the government hospital, this had been a remarkable mission, which brought me enjoy and hope to making a difference to people’s life’s; just by applying simple measures.

Government hospital average day 20 -25 December 2013
My day starts off by waking up early, around 8am to have a cup of tea, deli and rice at around 09.00 – 09.30am. I don’t go to work until 10am so before then I have time socialize.
At 10 am I walk to the local government hospital which is about 1 mile away from where I am staying.
After arriving at the hospital I meet with the nurses in the antenatal clinic. We discuss any problems we might have identified that day and then we share ideas on how we can improve the patients’ experience and nurses’ knowledge, skills.
The clinic closes around 3pm, so then I walk to the private pharmacy and clinic which is located 3km down the road where I spend the rest of my day at the pharmacy providing health advice and treatment to the local people visiting the clinic.
At around 4 – 5pm, I return back to camp where I use my spare time washing my clothes or helping to prepare the meal for that evening which involves picking vegetables and herbs.

Nursing college 26 – 29 December 2013
My day starts very differently to when I was working at the government hospital; here I wake up early, around 7.30am, and I have breakfast with student nurses with whom I am staying at the girl’s hostel.
I don’t go to work until 9am so I have time to prepare for the lecture which I am going to teach.
After arriving at the college I meet with the teachers. We discuss plans for the day whereby I highlight to the teachers what I will be teaching and what resources I will use to enhance my teaching skills. In addition we discuss any problems I might have, afterwards I receive feedback, advice how to overcome any challenges I had faced.
During the day I teach to 14, 3rd year students for 3 hrs in two different classes on various subjects relating to what they are learning from their books.

After classes I start preparing for tomorrow’s classes and spend time with the head teacher searching and sharing up to date research articles which can be used in class or for her own studies.
College finishes at about 4 or 5pm where I use this time to wash my clothes or chatting with the student nurses I live with.

2. Other things I did on my placement.
Besides this experience I spent my evenings talking to the student nurses with whom I was staying at the nursing host, whereby I gained insight into the government education system and the Nepal BSc nursing course structure, standards of the educational level to which nurses where being trained, for instance I learned that all students in Nepal follow the same textbooks set by the ministry of health and students are required to pass exams based on what is read in the books.
In contrast to my experience working at the medical college, this had been a remarkable mission, which brought me joy and I hope to have made a difference to people’s lives’ just by applying simple measures.

In the same way this helped me to evolve the way I think as a nurse and enhanced my nursing practice within a third world country by challenging me within my professional practice to create confidence to stand in front of 16 students and teach subjects which I am very passionate about. Moreover, I gained teaching skills and I learnt how to be assertive when I need to be.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
However consequently I did come across some challenges in particular with the language barrier, equally because I spoken little Nepali and the staff / patients in the hospital spoke little English. Ultimately, this limited me in my ability to provide direct patient care. Nevertheless I overcame this challenge by using simple words to communicate and pointing at words or alternatively getting the staff to help me learn Nepali.
Furthermore due to the season, a small volume of patients accessed healthcare. Typical, I found much of my time was spent watching the doctor assess and treat patients instead of the nurses providing direct patient care.
Notably, I did not face these issues and challenges whilst working at the nursing college. The lectures were in English and students spoke English well, equally my Nepali had improved by this point too.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
Following my experience I would advise future volunteers who plan to work at the government hospital to visit during a festive time of the year typically when volume of patient’s access healthcare is low .
Furthermore I would advise a volunteer to attend language classes to enhance their ability to communicate with the hospital staff and patients.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?
Despite the issues I experienced I would volunteer at the hospital again but I would choose to visit a different time of year. In addition I would plan my time effectively by training the nurses in the hospital to enhance their skills and set up community public health days as a way to educate the local community about the importance of accessing health care early etc.
Ultimately I would volunteer at the nursing college mostly because of the importance of enhancing future nurse’s knowledge and skills which cannot be learned from a book but can have a greater impact in saving patients lives’.

6. Would you volunteer at this organization again?
I found the organization supportive, informed and well organized in my volunteer placement. The information provided to me gave inside knowledge and an understanding of development issues specific to the area of Nepal I was in. This gave me confidence to tackle possible challenges I might face.

7. Suggestion or problem?
no suggestions

8. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.
Between December 21 – 29, 2013 I worked on behalf of a NGO called Future of Nepal as a registered nurse located within Meghauil Chitwan Whereby I worked in the local government hospital observing the local doctor provide rapid care to patients who presented with various minor illnesses with perceived or acute physical, emotional, psychological alterations of health, that further interventions.
In addition to this on the 24th December, me and the midwife ran an antenatal clinic performing antenatal checkups on 20 patients who attended the clinic that day.
After the shift I worked at the local pharmacy, providing health advice to the local people who sought advice regarding their minor illnesses.

Following this experience I was able to gain an understanding of how the local government hospital worked and what treatment, investigations were made available to people accessing government healthcare. Further to this; I gained much broader knowledge about Nepal’s healthcare system from a government respect: what is achievable under the ministry of health low cost budget.
Notably I was able to share my knowledge and skills with the midwife to help improve patient care and improve the healthcare standards in the hospital.
Further to this experience I was very lucky to encounter other achievements, for instance, I traveled to Chitwan and worked in nursing college whereby I was involved in teaching various subjects such as Basic neonatal, child, adult basic life support, management of severe burns, life saving emergency skills in newborn care. The lectures contained non- practical and practical teaching sessions with the use of little resources and limited electricity.
Equally I spent time sharing literary resources with the teachers to enhance their knowledge and to share with future nursing students. This however is an on-going project whereby I hope to send used medical books to the nursing college library which currently contains only 20 books to 140 students.

This experience as which had helped me to evolve the way I think as a nursing teacher and help enhance my nursing practice within a third world country by challenging as a professional. Due to this change I have left Chitwan with a sense of achievement
In contrast to my experience when working at the nursing college and at the government hospital, this had been a remarkable mission, which brought me enjoy and hope to making a difference to people’s life’s; just by applying simple measures.

Ultimately my experience would of not been possible without the act of kindness I received from all the staff at the nursing college who are dedicated to making a difference to people’s lives.
Alternative to this positive experience I did feel frustration because of my compensation to save lives and not being able to apply direct patient care because of the language barrier and constitutional law which I felt at times.

Name: Riki Matsumoto
Country: Japan
Gender: Male
Program: Teaching English

1. What did your average day look like?

Usually early mornings around 6 or 6:30 A.M. Breakfast at around 7 A.M. Well depending on which placement you’re at, but for my teaching plcement, it was 6 periods of class a day 45 minutes a period. School usually finishes at around 3 P.M. to 4 P.M. The rest of the day is free. I usually spent it helping out with the cooking at the restaurant nearby or with some nepali friends that i made. Depending on wether there was a power cut or not, i would sleep at around 9 P.M.

2. Other things I did on my placement.

I went on the Annapurna trek for 5 days, and it was worth it. Such gorgeous mountains. I also went sightseeing with one of my nepali friends on the back of a motorcycle. Generally this and that. Sorry for the vagueness.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?

The consistent powercuts, Language barrier, not enough reading material. Spicy food if you’re not used to it; thankfully i was. Sometimes a little lonely if you’re the only volunteer at your placement.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?

Bring lots of entertainment that doesn’t require electricity, i.e books, cards(playing cards), etc. Tourch – head torch , etc

A lot of candy to control the kids. Skittles were very effective.

Buff headband. Useful for the hot days and covering your mouth form the dust clouds.Do your Nepal Visa in your country befor you come. There’s a massive line at the airport.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?

Yes, I would.

6. Would you volunteer at this organization again?

Sure, of cource I would.

7. Suggestion or problem?

Not necessarily.