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Saturday – full of surprises

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Yesterday my day started with and Bridal Shower. The story behind this is that I met a lady namned Kim on the Shuttle to Macon (in Macon Professor Eric from the university picked me up to get to Milledgeville to the hotel 2 days ago). Kim told me that she came to Milledgeville because of here niece who had an upcoming wedding and now it was time for here Bridal Shower. When Kim told me about the Shower I told here about how the Swedes celebrate their brides before their wedding, which the Swedes know as embarrassing and maybe even painful. Kim was so surprised and wanted me to have a look at a nice Bridal Shower, the american way, so she invited med to her niece Samanthas Bridal Shower which was yesterday (Saturday). So I putted on the wonderful summer-dress my mum made ages ago and gave me as a present this summer. Then Beth, who lives with me, got me a ride to the Inn (Bed & Breakfast) which is not so far away from my new home, where the Bridal Shower was.

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Here you can see Samantha unwrapping a present. Kim told me that a Bridal Shower is for “showering the bride with gifts”. Samantha got a lot of things like plates, glasses and silver for the kitchen but also frames and some lingerie. The guests of the Bridal Shower where invited to eat some snacks and drink the typical Southern sweetened tea and lemonade. The ice-tea they serve here is always sweetened with a lot of sugar. And Sallie already told me when I still was at home in Sweden that if I’d like to not have sugar in my tea I have to say that, because it is always sugar in it.

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Here you can see Samantha in the middle and Kim on the right.

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After the Shower everyone even got a little gift: a little bottle of hand-sanitizer that smelled so good 😀 So girls: I want to have an American Bridal Shower when I get married 🙂

After the Shower I went downtown to have a look at the city of Milledgeville. The thing is that I live pretty close to the city and I feel that I can walk to most of the places. People over here tend to take their cars everywhere and their are great distances between the most places, but as you could see on the picture, I was wearing my running-shoes, just so I could walk comfortable.

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This is how the crossing looks like. People who drive are really precautions about people who walk over the street (even though the red light is on and their not supposed to walk), probably because if you would run over a person by car you would end up in jail or at least court.

As I walked downtown I came to an antique store called Auntie Bells Antiques. The name Auntie Bell comes from the style which is usual in Milledgeville: Antebellum or Ante-bellum. Antebellum refers to the period before the civil war in the united States. Their is a background of slavery involved, but as I don’t know much about that yet I might come tell you more about that later.

However, I went to that antique shop where my heart skipped a beat – their where so many nice things and even a lot of horse-relates things. So I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time I was inside, though it was hot, because it is so humid here.

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In one of the shops I found this picture, which I find is so beautiful! Ok, I don’t think people should ride naked on their horses, but this picture shows you an Indian man riding a horse with nearly “no strings attached” and this is what I wish to accomplish with my horse Lovely one day – a communication build on trust and small, nearly transparent aids.

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After walking to two different antique-shops I walked home again. And here’s a picture of the house that I live in. In the front you can see my 3 roommates cars, everyone has one of their own.

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After talking with one of my roommates for a while I decided to go swim in a river that is nearby. This river has a strong stream so I didn’t swim far from the land, but it was just enough to cool down a little.

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After my swim I thought I try to find a shortcut home, looking at my google-maps that had been downloaded with help of the Wifi at home. But the map did not apply to the path I found. Every time I tried to find the road on the map I found the following sign:

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“Private property behind fence NO trespassing violators prosecuted” does the sign say. So imagine I got a little scared… I was lost. The good thing when you get lost is that you find a lot of new things on the way. While when you know where to go, you might not find all the wonderful things I could find.

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Peacan-nuts, which Sallie told me are about mature now, a nice tree…

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The river and the red soil, tiny little white mushrooms…

So even though I walked for a long while and got lost, I could hear birds sing, crickets play and the river flow. I did even see a little red bird, maybe a summer tanager.

Well, have a great day/night. I am going to met one of the former exchange students from Georgia today for “fika” who has visited Linneausuniversity and Växjö last semester.

The travel and my first days

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

After more than 20 hours of travel I arrived at Milledgeville, Georgia, USA. It was a long journey, but I tried not to sleep so it would be easier for me to come into the rhythm. At the hotel I jumped into the bathtub and right after into the bed. 10 hours later I had my first american breakfast: american pancakes, fruitloops, nice coffee and yoghurt. I didn’t realize that everything would be served on plastic plates and with plastic-silver – easy for the staff to take care of “the dishes”.

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After my breakfast I packed my bags again and Sallie Coke, my main contact in Georgia, picked me up and we drove to the university. Here she introduced me to everybody she knew and who I would have to know. I even got scrubs and the mandatory polo-shirt for working in the community. The students here wear scrubs at school in the clinical training center and at their clinical rotations at the hospital. They have a lab coat too, they can wear it when they sit in the classroom, over their scrubs when having lectures after/before training at the center. Because though the temperatures are warm and really humid outside, it can be cold inside because of the air-conditioning.

Sallie kindly showed me around in the clinical training center too, but I will tell you more about that with pictures when I get there, which will be on Monday.

I continued my day by getting picked up by my new roommate Anna. Anna is the person who so kindly answered to my add on the Facebook-group “Bobcats Exchange”, which is a group from students for students in Milly to sell and search for things. When I came to Annas house I met Jennie as well, who is the second out of three persons who live in this 4-room big house on one floor.

After I settled in the house and had talked to my wonderful boyfriend Emil on Skype, Anna had invited me to come with here and here friends and go eat at a place called Longhorn. Before entering the restaurant we went to a petstore where I found a newspaper just for bunnies (I am in loooove!) and this collar for dogs with a bottle-opener) –  I found that acctually really weird…

 

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At the restaurant I had a nice sallad, a really good soup, jalapeno-poppers and a bear. The girls told me that bear with oranges in it tastes really good, so I tried it and yes, indeed, I liked it! I had a really good time with the 5 girls who all where so nice and friendly to me. As they say: the Southern-manners are well known in this part of the country. As far as I have come everyone has been so nice to me and really openminded and happy to invite me into their lives, like I have been here for weeks. And at the restaurant I met my third roommate: Beth.

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After the visit at the restaurant I had to buy myself some food. I haven’t told you yet, but I have an own refrigerator in my room! That is awesome! So we went to Walmart. The famous Walmart I have seen on tv for so many times! And I can tell you that I got confused… there was just SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM! I had a real hard time to find what I want, because it is not always easy to see what’s in a product, especially not if it is a precooked product, e.g. a pizza. But finding fair-treaded meat from america was a hard nut to crack too. Not the fair-traded part (which I couldn’t find) but on the package they wrote produced in 5 different countries. So it was hard to find how and where the meat was produced, but instead it was much more easy to choose between different percentages of fat/meat, e.g.: 10/90, 15/85, 20/80, 30/70. And trying to find something simple as olive-oil was hard too… because their are 100 different brands and sizes! In the end I went for the organic coconut-oil to try something new. Because coconut-oil can be used for frying but also as a skin product 🙂

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Besides the collar vs. bottle-opener the americans seem to have a lot of cool inventions. This morning for instance I found this cooler in the kitchen of my roomies. I found this so cool! You could pull the cooler after you so you could take it to, say, a party!

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So, this was my breakfast this morning. I couldn’t find a cheese-grinder so I am probably going to stop by IKEA in Atlanta one day so I can get one real for my roomies. Right now I use a carrot-peeler. Some Swedish inventions are really good I think. And of course it is Starbucks-coffe from a machine we have here, for my breakfast. Besides the Starbuckscoffe I was also able to buy swedish coffee from “Gevalia” for the instant-coffemachine. But, surprise, it is not for me. I bought it as a gift for my roomies.

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So this is all from me right know. I hope you could get what I was trying to say, I still feel a little bit restricted in my English.

This weekend I am invited to a bridal-shower by a stranger I met on my journey and on sunday I am going to “fika” (in Sweden that means talking a coffee with something to eat, like a cake or sandwich) with Emily, a former exchange student from Linneaus-university in Växjö. She found me on the internet – what a wonderful place to met people!

Next week is going to start with visiting the clinical training center for the day and get drug-screened and leave blood-samples so I can start my clinical rotation.

Have a good one!

On my way to the United States of America

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

I am about to start a big journey, I am going to participate in an Exchange with Georgia College State University (GCSU). Due to the fact that English is the main language spoken in the USA I am going to write my posts in English.

As you may know a journey never starts when traveling to your destination. The journey starts earlier when you plan all the practical things and, of course, in your head.

The journey to Georgia and GCSU is going to be the biggest and longest journey of my Life. I am really looking forwards to it and despite all the work I already have putted into it, I am happy to travel in just less then 2 weeks: sept 10 this year.

Georgia is a State in the South-East of the US. The climate is warmer then in Sweden and the summer this year was hot. The temperatures I will expect during my visit are the ones we have had in Sweden this summer: between 24-28´C.

The capital of Georgia is Atlanta, which has the largest aquarium in the World. GCSU is situated in Milledgeville, which is app. 2 hours cardrive from Atlanta. I am going to live in Milledgeville for 5 weeks, a town with app. 19 300 inhabitants.

 

Here is a list of preparation I had to do before my clinical rotation i Georgia:

– apply at the university for an exchange through my university (Linneas university) and GCSU

– apply for an exchange at GCSU

– send a lot of documents to GCSU

– apply for a VISA (J-1) at the embassy in Sweden (or Denmark, but I choosed Stockholm in Sweden; that’s a VISA that is used for exchange students like me. Would I only visit as a turist I wouldn’t need that kind of a VISA) -> go through all the paperwork and questions on the internet, pay your fee, book an appointment at the embassy, visit the embassy, leave your passport and wait fot it to come back in the mail with your VISA (if they approve…)

– get an ESTA (so you are allowed to get into the US)

– apply for a scholarship from through my university

– apply for an extra student-loan

– get all the paperwork sorted

– get even more papers for the clinical rotation

– find a housing in Milledgeville

– book a hotel room in Milly (that’s how people living in Milledgeville call there town)

– continue the contact between GCSU and me for all details

– book a flight to Georgia

– have a plan for Lovely, my horse-friend and Illy, our bunny-friend

– buy a converter for the electric plug

– buy cloth and shoes that are comfortable to travel with and for a warmer climate than here in Sweden

– fill a lot of small bottles with my personal lotions and shampoos for traveling

– buy a travel-pillow, -mask and earplugs

– pack my riding pants and shoes (in case of any fantastic horse-adventures)

– buy a lot of chocolate for all the nurses I am going to meet

– buy a pair of kakis (brown-greenish pants) which they wear as a school uniform

– buy a book “English for healthcare-personell” and read it… and do the exercises in it too…

– talk to all teachers so my clinical training in the US is going to get accepted as a clinical rotation in Sweden for my nursing-exam

 

 

Yes… that’s about all I can remember for now… A lookout of stuff to do in less words…

I do now plan to starting to pack my bags, just so I remember everything I need to carry with me…

Love

Madeleine

 

Ps: Fun fact of this blog-entry: Georgia is the home-land of Coca Cola.

 

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6 days of sickness…

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

This is day 6 I am at home, waiting for my body to recover. I do now know that I have a virus-infection. Probably caused by my little brother who got it from his girlfriend. The virus who follows me took away 3 days from my internship, but there is still time to catch up. I haven’t even told you yet about the working-hours here at my ward. There are 2 different shifts: dayshift and nightshift. At dayshift you work 07.00-19.30 and at nightshift 19.30-07.00. Sometimes you can leave earlier at 15.30 from the dayshift. Most people I talk to about my working-hours here think it is hard, but actually I find it much more comfortable to work 07.00-19.30 2 days in a row rather than like we have it in Sweden 13.30-22.00 and the day after 07.00-15.30. I feel that these few hours in the evening give a lot more back than having so few hours to recover the day after. And working 12 hours each shift gives you a lot more free time the rest of the week. At my internship I have to work 3-4 days per week and the rest of the week I have for myself and all my other studies.

At my time at home I had time to draw more pictures of the ward, so you can see how it looks like:

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I am a little bit unhappy for the quality of the pictures at WordPress-blog here, but I can not help it – wordpress cuts them down to 100 mb. On this picture you can see me sitting on the old leather-coach in the lunch-room. On the table you can see a big chocolate-cake: the staff at my ward love to eat chocolate with nuts. So most of the shifts someone buys a big chocolate for everybody to enjoy. You can also see the glasses with differ name-tags. If you work a shift you have a glass with your name-tag on so you can use it the whole shift. In front of me you can see my food. At the hospital I have the pleasure to buy lunch for a reasonable prize which means I get warm lunch every day at work and I do not have to bring my own food with me – a luxury I really like and would like to have at home (but there the food is expensive and you have to get it on your own). Every morning we get to choose and write down which food we would like and than one staff gets down to get the food from the kitchen. On my pants you can see that people usually write down information about their patient. This is a habit I still not have been doing, but I wanted to show you how it looks like on my fellow colleagues.

 

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This drawing shows how it looks like in the kitchen. We have a big water boiler which gives hot water. When a patient wants tea we can take it from here. They have about 7 different kind of teas to choose from – which is great, we don’t have that at home! When someone likes to have a cup of coffee we have to mix the water with Nescafé instant coffee. On the desk you can see some different things, e.g. instant coffee and apple-juice brought by relatives to patients. So there are some patients who get there personal food/drinks – if they like to.

I hope to get back to my internship in two days. I have been to a greek-doctor today and he got me cough-medicin with codeine and antihistamine-tabletts against my swollen lymph. Interesting is that I found medicine which is no longer used in Sweden here in Austria. Besides the medicin I got from the doctor here (I do not know why Sweden no longer does distribute these medicines, but I know they have different ones which practically are the same) I found a medicine at the hospital which is called “Novalgine”. This medicine is not longer used in Sweden since 1999 since many people have experienced severe side effects and after a study the medication was stopped selling in Sweden. But, they still use it here in Austria. I think this is because Sweden has a different approach regarding medicine and side effects – in Sweden the nurses and doctors can tell there concern to the government, in Austria this is something only doctors do, sometimes, what I understood from the staff here.

Now I am getting my head back into Grey´s Anatomy, at least I can watch one hospital when I am not allowed to be at “my” hospital.

Bis bald! – See you soon!

Visiting a nursing-school in Austria, Krems

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

On friday I got sick. My little brother gave me a cold. But the cold didn’t stop me from visiting another city in the land of “Niederösterreich” – Krems. At my internship in Vienna I met a nice girl – Kristina. Kristina is a nursing-student in Krems and the first class which is going to take a bachelor-degree in nursing-sience in Krems. That means that our education is comparable internationally, or at least in Europe. To have a bachelor-degree in nursing-sience also gives the nursing-job a higher standart which in the end means better nursing for our patients.

At the “FH-Krems” or “University of applied science/Austria” I got to see that the university pretty much looks the same as in Calmare. But, there is a major difference (besides that the bachelor in nursing is very new): the view from the university is not the sea (as it is in Calmare). The view are amazing mountains with wine ranks! Take a look:

 

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Here you can see the FH with Kristine in front. On the left you can see a glimpse of the mountains.

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Just besides the university: a wine rank, of course.

At the university I had the chance to talk to a teacher and she wants med to have a presentation for students in Krems about Sweden and Calmars university Linneaus! Who knows, maybe Calmare can welcome Austrian students in the future! 😀

The first week – Right or wrong? Is there even something that is better or worse?

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Now I have had 3 days at the intensive-care unit for people who have gone through a organ-transplantat. My supervisor has given my free hands for a lot of things. E.g. does he want me to take care of our patient by myself in the morning. That means I have to take care of the documentation of the machines (if they work properly), the medication for the patient and giving them breakfast. On my second and my third day we had a post-op patient who had gone through a bypass-surgery. That means that the surgeons take a bloodvessel from the patients leg and sew it to the heart to by-pass a vessle that is constipated. So this patient had a tub in his throat when he came to us, this because this type of surgery is a pretty big one (took the whole morning).

So the patient who had gone through the by-pass surgery, had a tube. And my supervisor was about to plan the extubation. He got a syringe and gave it to me for emptiing the cuff off the tube (a cuff is small ballon for fixing the tube inside the throat. For extubating you usually have to empty the ballon that is filled with air). So I didn’t really think, just act. I took the syring and emptied the cuff. And because of my supervisor stood on the bedside and was fixing something with the patients arm I thought he saw what I was doing, but he didn’t. So the next moment he asked if I already had emptied the cuff, which I of course answered yes too. He got confused and I said that I wasn’t allowed to do that already, which of course was a missunderstanding of eachother. He than took out the tub of the patients throat immediately, and was confused towards med. Nurses in Vienna are allowed to extubate, but I acted a little to fast… I think, like I always do: you have to make misstakes to make it right, so next time a better time. But it was a little bit embaressing…

There are acctually a lot of diffrences in the care of patients here compared to what I am used to from Sweden. A tremendous diffrence are especially two things that I found out:

1. All Austrian citizens and visitors that die in Austria are automatically bound to be organ-donors. That means that Austria has no lack of organs for transplantation. Compared to Sweden the number of optional organ-donors is 15%. For Austria this means that there are a lot of people from countries around that come to Austria to get a new organs. Austria is part of an organisation called ”Eurotransplant”, where different countries work together for allocate organs. Austria has today 4 hospitals who work with organ-transplant, 3 of them are university-clinics who work with all types of organ-transplant. Sweden also has 4 hospitals who work with organ-transplant, but not all of them work with transplanting all types of organs.

2. In Sweden at the intensive-care unit in Calmare where I worked during last summer the staff was always forced to sit between patients who where waking up from a sedation. Which ment that I as a nurse had to sit between my patient, putting his hands down every time he/she tried to pull out the tube (which is common that people try to do after a sedation when they had a tub in their throat). Here in Austria there only work registrated nurses (not ”little” nurses and registrated nurses as in Calmare) at the intensive care unit. And the nurses in Vienna at the intensive-care unit for organ-transplant never sit between their patients 24/7 as we do in Calmare. So I wondered why. After 2 days of work I got the answer: here in Austria the law has given nurses a different opportunity in caring for their patients: when they come to the ward after a surgery they make the first arrangements together like changing sheets, changing maschines but they also put wrist-bands on the lower arms and tie them to the bed. This is an arrangement which is allowed in Austria and helps the nurses so they don’t have to sit besides the patient all the time as we do in Calmare. Of course the ward has monitors in the lunch-room, in the medicin-room and in the office,  where all the stuff can see the values (blodpressure, puls, saturation ect.) and hear if the alarm. I think this is more convenient, though I found it hardto sit and stare at my patients the whole last summer…

 

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I am not allowed to take any pictures from the ward, therefore I decided to draw what I see. I am not a talented drawer, but I will do what I can to give you a glimpse of what the hospital in Vienna looks like. Here you can see a picture (which I was allowed to take) and how much/little alike it is to what I see. I am trying to prior what is important, so not all details will be shown in my drawings.

 

Auf Wiedersehen!

Day 1 – Finding my way to the ward

Monday, January 19th, 2015

I started my day in the early morning. I went up with my mum at 5.30. We ate breakfast and then she took me to the trainstation. Because my mum had to get to work 30 min earlier than me, I took the chance to buy a cup of coffee and sat down to read free newspaper. My attention got caught by 2 articles:

 

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This article is about a foster-home for children which is called “Schwedenstift” which means something like “Swedenconvent”. Just four years ago I visited this house for my project in secondary school (the big final project), where I travelled after the tracks of Sweden in Austrian/Vienna. There are a lot of buildings and streets in Vienna who are named after Sweden or famous swedish people. I found this amusing to read at 6 o’clock in the morning at the train station – Sweden say’s hello through the newspaper.

 

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The second picture is about an article which tells the reader about the doctors in Vienna who are dissatisfied about there working-conditions. I will later come back to this information, because I got to learn more about this issue at my internship.

 

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Here starts the day for me: the train too Znojmo – even the speaker had troubles to pronounce the city, which is not situated in Austria (but Austria is situated to a lot of borders and therefore there are a lot of trains driving abroad). I am already feeling how I am going to be part of the everyday big city morning traveling…

 

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Now just a quick change to the subway…

 

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Oh, this view of people traveling to and from work gives me a lot of memories of my time when I lived in Germany. It is odd how deep memories can be rooted and it is really a difference from Calmare where I have a 5 minutes bike-ride to school.

 

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Wow, here it is! The “Allgemeines Krankenhaus der Stadt Wien – Universitetsklinikum” – translation: “Generell Hospital of the city Vienna – Universityclinic”. I went into through the doors and wow! A flower-boutique which looks just like the one in my favorite tv-hospital-program “Scrubs”! After some searching I found my ward: 9D Transplant. Wow, now the expectations are high! How will it be? How will it look like? I mean the halls, they look even more like 60’s than the one I have seen in Sweden!

 

Bis später! Means: See you later!

On my way to Vienna…

Monday, January 19th, 2015

It is sunday. I am about to start my journey of about 9 hours to Vienna, the capital of Austria in my former home country. I choosed to apply for an internship in Vienna because of different reasons. At first I thought that I wasn’t interested about going to Africa where a lot of my fellow students are right now. I wanted to go to Australia, or USA. But though of my big commitment to our nursing-student-movement in Calmare I didn’t have much time or energy to apply to the big cities in the world for an internship. I do not feel that this is an disadvantage though, because I now would live at my mothers apartment for 5 weeks for my internship in Vienna. (My mum lives outside of Vienna, about 30 minutes from the hospital).

All started one evening where I told my boyfriend Emil about the idea to do an internship in abroad. We had a discussion one evening and I talked about Austria and how convenient it would be to live at my mums and it wouldn’t be far to travel either. At that point I had looked up a hospital on the internet which was the biggest medstudents-university at least in Europe, I read (I am not totally sure about that, but I read it somewhere…).  He thought it would be a great idea and so I started the process of applying. I went to the homepage of the hospital (http://www.akhwien.at) and applied for an internship. The hospital answered me and told me how I should apply and wanted med to choose which part of the hospital I would like to have an internship at. So there I was, I had to choose between all of this:

 

Clinical Structure

Clinics

Clinical Institutes

So I went trough all the descriptions of the different wards, because there where a lot of them I had never hear of here in Sweden. After a while I found a field that caught my attention: organ transplant. I thought I would gain the most of my internship abroad if I choose a subject I had not heard about very much before and which wasn’t much established here in Sweden and especially not in Calmar. Calmar is a little city compared to the rest of Sweden and in the hospital in Calmare they don’t transplant organs currently. My second choice went to the psyatric ward, though I am really interested to know how they work with different diagnoses in Vienna. But that may be something I can look in later in my life – one step at the time.

So, here I am. Starting my journey to the most beautiful city in the world, they say, Vienna!

 

Byebye boyfriend

 

With tears in my eyes but hope in my heart I left Emil, my boyfriend, and Lovely, my horse – my little family would have to take care of Sweden without me the next 5 weeks.

 

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I “suited up” in my new skiing-jacket in perfect match to the train.

 

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Though most of my classmates toasted themselves for a long journey at the airport, I bought myself a glass of wine to celebrate that I finally headed to Vienna. Cheers!

 

“Auf wiedersehen” – Means: See you soon in Austrian. It is a common frase people in Austria use to say good bye.

 

Malin, Caroline och Dinusha har varit i Nkinga i Tanzania

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Läs berättelserna från

Malin

Caroline och

Dinusha