My nursing experience in South Africa was worth the trip to me. Since I
have so little experience as a nursing student in the US, everything we
did and saw there was beneficial to me. Their whole health care system
works differently then ours.

It is much more stressed, busy, and
desperate. There were many diseases and health issues that I have only
read about in text books, but never seen. To be totally submerged in
that world helped my nursing ability tremendously and made me personally
a better person.
The nurses have to make use of the little equipment they have. They have
very little paper towels to wash their hands, primitive equipment to
assess a patient, and almost no access to a doctor. I will never take
these things for granted again. They also don’t have enough nurses for
their patient population. Patients line up outside the clinic starting
at 2am hoping to be seen sometime during the day. One newspaper reported
that a local hospital had one nurse for every 90 patients!
I never realized how lucky we were and how much we really do have.

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