Hallo and welcome back to our blog! We are so glad that you are here to get a small glimpse into some of the amazing things that we have been able to experience during our trip!
In Norway, nursing school is 3 years long and in their 3rd year, students are primarily working on their practicum (clinical) hours. This week, I was paired up with a 3rd-year student, Charlotte, and I had the opportunity to go with her to her practicum hours at a local Nursing Home. The floor that we were on was for patients with aggressive tendencies and memory loss. As one can imagine, the main goal of the floor was to promote a calming environment to ensure that the patients remained safe and at ease to avoid any aggression or agitation. One of my favorite things about this experience was getting to view healthcare and nursing through the lens of the Norwegian culture. The care and intention that they employ with every single patient was eye-opening and reinforced the idea that everyone is a human being before they are a patient. Empathy, compassion, and therapeutic communication were incredibly prominent in everything that we did!!
Because it was the 1st of the month, we went around and collected the NEWS on each patient. Gathering the NEWS is essentially taking weight and vitals (SDG #3). After Charlotte explained to me that the NEWS stands for the National Early Warning Scale, she pulled out a chart that assigns a score to each patient based on their data. My jaw dropped when I realized that it is almost the same as our Modified Early Warning Scale (MEWS) which looks for potential risk factors in patients!! Serendipitously, I had the MEWS chart on my badge real and we were eager to compare and contrast the different parameters for our countries. We felt nerdy deciphering why some of the parameters may have been different based on the culture of each of our populations, but it really went to show that healthcare is patient-specific and that the lifestyle an individual pursues based on where they live truly plays a role in their health outcomes!
This week has reinforced that idea even though we are learning how to be nurses in very different countries, the root of our practices, the knowledge and skills that we learn, and our passions for patient-centered healthcare are all vividly apparent (SDG #4). I can’t help but smile when I think about this.
After I said goodbye and thanked Charlotte for her guidance this week (big sad!), we all met up with our professors (Moms!) and went on quite the adventure. The first surprise that they had on the docket for the evening was a trip to a gelato shop! YUM! It was our job to navigate us there and we had to stay flexible and willing to change every time we started to walk in the wrong direction.
Following our first tasty treat, we went to a spa at the head of the Oslofjord. At this spa, we had reserved a private sauna hut at the edge of a dock on the water. This spa experience involved jumping into the freezing cold water (SDG #6) and then going into the sauna to warm up. Talk about a shock to your system!! Goosebumps in the water, shivering out of the water, and then sweating in the warm sauna… a very unique experience! We all had a wonderful time full of laughs, smiles, good conversations, and memories that I am sure will last a lifetime!
To end the day, we were surprised with a trip to one of Oslo’s best burger places. The burgers were delicious, warm, and hit the spot after our chilly experience in the Oslofjord water!
Overall, this day was one to remember! From practicum to plunging into cold water, we have learned so much not only about nursing, but also about the Norwegian traditions and culture. While our trip is coming to an end soon, I could not be more thankful for the time that we have gotten to spend here, the professors who are making this trip possible, and the generosity of everyone here in Oslo! Takk for at du leser // thanks for reading!