Half awake, our modest crowd hopped onto the train arriving at platform 3 to make our way to Glasgow central to eventually reach our destination in Edinburgh. Our first stop was at the Edinburgh Dungeon, a famous attraction that includes eleven interactive shows and two rides. Each show displayed live actors that theatrically reenacted disturbing historical practices used in Scotland’s past in 1832. Each show ensured the crowd would roar with laughter through the sly comedy hidden between the horror themes apparent in each characters and room setting. Once a show completed we would be guided through narrow hallways that led to another highly characterized room. Each performer was headstrong on picking on the guests and incorporating them into each show making the overall experience even more intimate and hilarious. The attraction ended with a drop tower ride that made even the men in the room shriek like little hens, leaving everyone’s stomach turning and ready for some lunch.
The beauty of Edinburgh doesn’t stop at artsy coffee shops and incredible historical destinations. The city is surrounded by beautiful hills and scenery on every end. Arthur’s seat, the highest hill in Edinburgh that once stood as a volcano, now serves as a major tourist attraction. It hovers 822 feet high overlooking the bustling city in one direction and the quiet North Sea on the other. Starting from the bottom, it took us nearly three hours to hike. Our dedication to reach the highest point to experience another breathtaking (literally) side of Edinburgh’s culture motivated our endeavor. Our group of eight incredibly heartened twenty something year olds decided to take on the route less taken, one that involved lots of slipping, steep lunges, and even rock climbing at some points. Three hours later, we found ourselves at the top, completely inspired, enlivened, and “baptized” by the spirit of nature that surrounded us. The view was incredible and impossible to describe in words, leaving us in awe as we shared the moments with one another. This both exhilarating and chilling experience brought our group closer together and allowed us to create memories that we will never be able to forget.
Today we spent our last day in our community placements. In the community at West Inverness, we enjoyed following the district nurses on their patient rounds. We saw a variety of patients with different ailments including pressure ulcers, wounds, and stages of dementia. Responsible for over 166 patients, it was incredible to see the rapport these nurses had established with patients and their families. Nurses would provide care to patients in nursing homes as well as private residences throughout the community. These rounds would be conducted in the morning and in the afternoon, the nurses would give report to the community team on the patients they assessed.
Following our clinical day we traveled to Beauly where we watched the Highland dancers perform and listened to the pipes and drums!
July 14, 2017
Today began with a presentation about dementia education in Scotland from a faculty member on the Raigmore campus. She was very informative and we could tell she was very enthusiastic about the subject. We then presented our Baby Box presentation to the faculty in the seminar. They thoroughly enjoyed our presentation and asked some great questions regarding how we outreach to the community during pregnancy and newborns.
Then we were off to St. Andrews! After jamming to some music with Stephen, we headed to the shore and took a picture by the iconic bridge on the St. Andrew’s old course. A wee bit of shopping and we finally landed in Stirling once more! Now that the whole group is together, we bonded over our clinical experiences and discussed what we can take away from the trip. We’ll miss you Scotland and cannot wait to return to USF with out new culturally-rounded knowledge- especially patient-centered care and community health nursing!
Today we began our clinical observations in Inverness! We dispersed between the Inverness West Community Clinic, Corbett Community Center, and the wards of Raigmore hospital, which included: the renal, childrens, orthopedic, and acute assessment floors.
While in the acute assessment ward, we had the opportunity to meet and learn from different staff nurses throughout the day. The morning started with a brief tour of the unit, which had patients divided between two teams. Each team consisted of two staff nurses and one auxillary. Each team was responsible for 16 patients and through a collaborative approach to care, tasks were completed effectively and efficiently. The auxillary would assist with bathing and feeding, while one staff nurse would round and record changes to patient care with the “consultant”. The second staff nurse would conduct patient assessments. Once rounds were complete, the nurses would discuss updates to plans of care. After mediation updates were discussed, the nurses would access a cardex to make changes and determine which medications were due. As one staff nurse began documentation, the other staff nurse would collect tablets from the medication “trolley” or mix IV medications for corresponding patients.
Throughout the day, patients would arrive and depart from the unit. To ensure patient safety, nurses were required to accompany each transport. When patients were being taken into or discharged from “theater” a brief handoff report would transpire. The nurses completed these routines seamlessly because of their team-based approach to care. Although such a large patient caseload seemed overwhelming, these nurses implemented a collaborative approach, which helped to optimize patient outcomes.
After leaving the hospital, we were off to explore the town of Inverness. We looked forward to visiting the local shops to buy souvenirs and enjoy the local cuisine!
Our last full day in Scotland had come. We spent the morning with district nurses, going to patients’ houses or helping at clinics. Our short clinical day was led by a day in Glasgow. We stopped by the cathedral to take a look around and do some sightseeing before going out and taking on the shopping district. We split up into groups to do some shopping before meeting at the train station to head back to Stirling. We ended the day with dinner and spent the night relaxing and packing before the long journey home.
We spent our clinical shifts in the placements that we selected. We split the shifts into two different wards, so we could experience all that was offered to us. After clinical, we ventured forth to he William Wallace monument. We decided to take he road less traveled, and we ended up walking half a mile through grassland and forest, where a few of us were stung by stinging plants. When we arrived at the base of the monument, a kind worker explained that there was another local plant to soothe the stinging sensation and gave us a few leaves to rub on our legs. We then trekked up the hill that led to the monument and climbed 273 steps to the top, which overlooked the majority of Stirling. The monument had stops to explain the history of William Wallace and the famous battle that occurred in Stirling. Afterwards, a few of us decided to go to the Allenwater Brewhouse to try homemade beers and ciders. Before heading back, we decided to stop for some delicious Chinese takeaway to fulfill the cravings that a few of us had.
We began the day by following the Health Visitors, who are nurses that visit new mothers and help follow up and care for their newborns up until school age. It was interesting to see this level of care that isn’t offered in the states. Afterwards, we toured the mental health Ward to see the differences between our nursing practices. The nurses were appalled to hear from other students that the use of restraints are common in the states, and they explained how to better manage and help patients with borderline personality disorder. Overall, the differences in mental health wards in the states and in Scotland don’t have a lot of differences; however, the scope of practice is different. We finished the day with dinner at Dawn Cameron’s house and a ceilidh in Linlithgow palace. The ceilidh was exhausting, but it was fun to actively participate in a huge part of Scotland’s culture.
We took a tour of Forth Valley Royal Hospital. We toured the Women and Children’s areas, like labor and delivery, neonatal, and pediatric wards, and it was interesting to finally see this area of nursing. We even had the opportunity to participate in their simulation area, where we unknowingly participated in a mock code. For being unaware that we were going to be participating and not just touring, we took advantage of the situation and followed through with what we were taught this past spring semester. After our clinical shifts, we were given the opportunity to hike up the Dumyat Hill. Three students had the courage to hike up the 1,371 foot high “mountain” as best as a Floridian could. We decided to take the adventure to part ways from the group and follow another trail that led up the hill. It was a long and difficult hike that lasted about an hour, but the view was worth it. Being able to see all of Stirling and the horizons was an unforgettable moment that can’t be forgotten or replaced by the nonexistent Florida hills.