For me, my travelling started when moving to England. In England my life was very different to living in Sweden. I love to do things out in the nature and because of this; living in London was a bit of a challenge! I often visited parks and found swimming holes in the city to go to. In Richmond Park, they have lots of space to run and exercise in and there is very nice running around Scott's old area where he used to live. England's lifestyle is very different for us Swedes in my opinion. I have been to England so many times before moving there and I know so many British people but the contrast between living in a small country with such a large population and living in a big country with a small population is incredible. In England everything takes time and my experience is that they really just do things in their wayJ. That was why I bought myself a bike to cycle to and from work which was just 10 km but took an hour by bus and sometimes an hour by car. We also found their system extremely frustrating at times and our worst experience was with the job agency that weren't interested to help us find work at all but were fine with just signing us off so we could apply for benefits. When signing up for work at different agencies there was no doubt that they all had jobs for me but there was a horrible amount bureaucracy which needed to be done before starting. Even though I have had some funny experiences with the healthcare system in England before, like peeing in a pot and putting it in the waiting room and when a Japanese male Nurse shouted at me so much so the whole waiting room heard, we were surprised when we were not allowed to sign up for a GP moving there because we had not lived in England for more than six months. It didn't help to explain that Scott holds a British citizenship and that I was from another EU country. Of course this was wrong, but we later learnt this when going to another GP. Things were at times, very frustrating and badly organized and of course because the country has not implemented ID numbers for their citizens, everything can be very confusing and complicated. Paper work is often handwritten instead of computerized and can be difficult to read.
Being a person who loves the nature it was maybe not the best place for me to be, but I think lots of different experiences and travelling makes your life so much richer. I like England and their villages a lot though but if moving there again I will consider living far away from any city.
Even though I experienced living and working as a Nurse in another country for a while whilst in Kenya and Norway, England was experienced differently by me. I really like England, especially surfing at the west coast and seeing the small nice houses in the Lake Districts and its nature and I love eating out, drinking my wine and all the entertainment the country offers, but to work as a Nurse in England was such a different experience but both in a positive and negative way. I am so happy to have experienced it. In England lots of hospitals are privatized and I worked in one of those. From the beginning, when I started there everything was so different that I didn't even understand what my job as a Nurse there was supposed to be. It is different to virtually all other countries way of Nursing. By the end of my experience, I felt I lost parts of my skills there by not using my normal daily practice. There is a very hierarchical and political way of working and I wasn't allowed to do things I am doing all day long usually. I was employed as a Staff Nurse which is the equivalent of a Nurse assistant in Sweden so even that was difficult for me because things the Nurse assistants do at home I haven't trained a lot, so sometimes I felt stupid by not being used to those things when I'm so used to other things. From always being in Charge of my ward and shift every day to then never be in charge made it more confusing. I later learned that because of my degree in Sweden, according to the NMC I should work as a Senior Nurse in the UK, but perhaps I got the other post because it was my first job in England. In hindsight, I would've preferred to continue in England in the same way as I did in Norway and Sweden to feel secure when coming back working in Scandinavia again. In my ward in England, we had Staff Nurses, Senior Nurses, Deputy Manager and a Ward Manager. What the Staff Nurses and Senior Nurses do there, the Nurse assistant is trained to do at home. Even the ward managers do the things the assistant Nurses would do while the Doctors do what the Nurses in Sweden would do. I think that was very sad because if I could just continue with what I am very used to doing instead of letting a Doctor doing it I would have put so much more help into the hospital than I did now. There were also no general directives which we have in Sweden and Norway, so every time I wanted to give medication to a patient I had to wait for the doctor if that specific medication hadn't already been ordered in the patients' journal. I couldn't change to injection or intravenous if I wanted to and I couldn't choose an alternative drug so everything took so much more extra time. At home this is included in our education and it is an obvious thing that we do this as Nurses. The doctors would catheterize there which an Assistant Nurse is really competent in doing in Sweden and blood samples were often done by a Doctor even though I have never seen one doing it in any other country. Canulisation was performed by the doctor as well and I had to act as a tourniquet which actually felt humiliating for me when canulating so often at home and that is a skill I really need to maintain if I am going to work somewhere else in the world. Some of the doctors from other countries even told me they are not used to it at all. I think it is a relaxed and cosy way of working and you have time to get to know your colleges but there is not a lot of action. In the English hospitals, at least in the private ones, they still used dresses, tights, belts and specific shoes and there were carpets inside of the hospital as well which was extremely difficult for me to get used to. The doctors and surgeons didn't wear name badges and the same clothes as us Nurses so it was very difficult to remember them. I still couldn't remember lots of their names when I left and they also wore private clothes at work.
I was amazed by their way of taking care of their staff in England by updating their training often. This was great because you got to train important things like cardiac and pulmonary resuscitation but lots of my usual duties couldn't be performed before doing those courses because in England you do the practice courses post degree while in Sweden you can't complete your degree before practicing and assessed in these things.
I think it is so interesting to have worked in such a different kind of environment to how it is at home in Sweden and I am so happy we went there. Even though my Nursing skills I would use in Scandinavia didn't improve I have worked with care for a lot of different kinds of interesting surgeries which I wouldn't have done at home and I have got an understanding as to how both the private and the national health system works in England, which I think has been very beneficial for me. I don't think I could have imagined how work would be there without trying and I actually think I will go back there one day working in the NHS as a Midwife, but just for a short while and just to try to see if there is a difference between private and the NHS.
My work mates in England were such nice people and I will never forget them. Some of them were from the Philippines, some from South Africa, Malaysia, Egypt and England and I have learned about their countries and a bit about their cultures. I also met so many different patients from so many different countries which I learned different things and methods from. One man from Kenya told me how to relax in the right way to fall asleep in the night time, another one told me about the French culture, lots of them told me about the American nature and I got so much information about the Muslim religion. I met Indians and lots of people from Austria and Germany. I have spoken to all of these people and compared the health care systems and life in the different countries and it was one of the most interesting seven months of my life. This opportunity would never have been given in Sweden where we are so much busier and the work is so much more clinical. While working in the gynecology ward I often wanted to listen and talk to people from other cultures, but there was never time there for it and I am happy to have had both. I feel I am such a lucky girl that I can choose! I think this is something that is sad in Sweden. I don't think we give our patients enough time to really open themselves up and express how they feel, but given that there is less staff working in the ward in Sweden it's also very understandable. Nurses and Doctors are simply far too busy.
Scott & I went to my lovely workmates wedding and we really enjoyed ourselves so much, and I was invited for a Scandinavian food and leaving do before leaving England by my incredible work buddy Fiona. Just before leaving England I went training with Fiona as well and got so much great advice from her and her Danish husbands, who have done a lot of nice travelling! My Pilipino work mates gave me advice about where to go in the Philippines and yes, we would later learn we absolutely loved it there. The South Africans told me about the health care system in South Africa and I could listen for hours. I promised Charmaine to write postcards from every country we go to in the world and I do this with joy! It is one of the nicest things actually, to end one country with a postcard to them! I miss all of them a lot!
I also had holiday when living in England and my Mum, Dad, Grandmother, Sister, Maria, Anders and Charlotte came visit. I also met lots of my other friends from Sweden when living there. We went down to Dover and did nice trekking with Mum, Dad and Grandma and we saw the Lion King musical in London. Dovers white cliffs are beautiful! We went to museums and to the London eye and did lots of nice London things and took them to wine bars, Covent Garden and the London Dungeon. We went swimming in Hampton court and took them to Hampton court palace and had beers in a real traditional British pub. We had such a great time!
Charlotte and Scott went to the Tate Modern and my sister got to go up in Centre Point with its incredible views over London. We took her on Go Ape and also Scotts mum joined us which was such a fun day out! We went partying in Kingston, did shopping, went to Madame Tussauds and went out for cocktails in Wimbledon. With Maria and Anders, we also went to Centre point and then we took the car up through The Lake District where we stayed in the funniest bed and breakfast we've ever stayed in. It was called Brendan Chase and had been on a TV show called "The Hotel Inspector"! Anders and Scott went swimming in a freezing cold lake and some Japanese people came up and took pictures of them when they stood in a car park in just their underwear. Some police officers were standing by their car in the same car park and they thought it was hilarious. We travelled further up and swam in some more lakes and came into Scotland where we decided to climb Ben Nevis. This was a seven hours climb which was so beautiful. We had really nice weather but it was freezing cold on the top of the mountain. We went to Scottish pubs and also had great Indian food and also Scottish haggis of course. Oh, I forgot to say that we stayed one night in Edinburgh in a church that had been converted into a hostel. We also tasted very nice pizza with different ingredients you wouldn't usually find on a pizza, everything was ecologic and stoned baked. This was in the Cotswold's. On the way back from Scotland, we visited Hadrian's wall, very interesting. Scott & I have also done a lot of fun things in England. We went to see Maroon Five, we have eaten in Jamie Oliver's restaurant a couple of times, mmm yummy! We have been to the Theatre and been to swimming lakes in London. I used to swim in Hampton courts outdoor swimming pool very often and also went to Lynn's really nice gym with steam sauna and swimming pool. When speaking about Lynn, we also went to a dance show at her studio in Cheam and we saw lots of different countries dancing and we were VIP guests! J
When I am reading this, I really love England overall because I had such a nice time there!!! J