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Nursing Internships in Ghana - Takoradi
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Nursing Internships in Ghana - Takoradi

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Enjoy Africa I am sure you will love it too!

I am Italian but was in the USA working as a nurse when I first got in touch with Work the World. At this point Africa seemed so far away. I wanted to do a professional work placement so had to be sure that WTW was ok with that, and of course they were very pleased to help me with everything. If there was anything I didn't understand I just asked and the staff were more than happy to help. Ghana was the perfect country for me going by myself, very friendly and really safe.

When I arrived in Accra, one of the local staff was already there with his big smile, waiting for me. His hug immediately made me feel welcome and safe. We spent the first night in Accra and the day after travelled to Takoradi, my home for the following 3 months. My ‘obruni’ (white person) time began then; with a nice trip on a local coach and Nigerian movies (you will love them by the end of the placement). Takoradi is very warm and "African", not a city, but quite busy which is what I really wanted to experience. We started with an orientation in town to get familiar with my nearest supermarket, the bank, internet cafes and the first Ghanaian meal – jollof rice and chicken, which was super good but not as good as the Work the World chef’s food!

After our orientation of Takoradi, the Program Manager and Assistant Program Manager gave their welcome and took me to the hospital to meet the staff I was going to work with. The Regional Hospital orientation was very helpful and it was very reassuring to travel there with them before having to go by myself! I worked there for 12 weeks, working with A&E and Male surgical. It was good to experience two different areas because I was given more of an idea of how the nursing is in Ghana, but my advice is to not choose too many departments because it takes a bit of time for them to trust and know you, and changing too often just wastes your hands-on time. The chance to actually do something is right there in front of your eyes, you just have to be ready to ask to help... be proactive, respectful and open minded!

There is great opportunity to see patients with diseases that you won't see in your own country, it is a chance to learn and challenge yourself. I learned a lot; last minute emergencies with few supplies, how to improvise, how to suture, and how to deal with death. As I was there for 2 months I was given quite a few responsibilities and was also in charge of the local students. The staff were willing to teach and willing to show me how nursing truly is in Ghana. Be there as a learning guest who can give experience and new ideas, but also respect the methods of local staff (even if, at times, it seems far away from your own!) Some days were tougher than others because the healthcare system is so different and at times can be frustrating, but it was what I really wanted.

You will meet many friends in the house – people you can talk through your day with. I shared with my fantastic team both the tears and the good days, we laughed so much and they really took care of me when I broke my arm! We became like family. I also took part in the Fante (the local lingo) classes which helped me understand my patients more, helped me to feel more included and more appreciated by fellow nurses at the hospital. Even at the market it was good fun exchanging a few words in the local language. Thanks Mr. Arthur for the lovely and funny classes!

I took the chance to travel around quite a bit at the weekends, visiting different, fantastic places: Kokrobite to listen to an African drumming concert, Butre and Akwidaa for the paradise beaches, Kumasi where we met with the Ashanti king, Beyin and the amazing Nzuleso village, Kakum and the great Mole national park. I had an amazing time in Africa, and I do recommend Ghana and Work the World for this experience. The team is really well organized, they are always available and love their job, you will always feel welcome and in the right place.

The WTW teams were there through every step of my adventure supporting me and making sure I stayed safe and satisfied. I'm still in touch with the amazing team and always will be, they are part of my life now, and Ghana has been home for me. Enjoy Africa I am sure you will love it too!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I had a truly amazing elective experience

After months of excitement and anticipation, numerous phone calls to Omar – Work the World’s Director – and the team, with our bags packed and Bradt guides in hand we were finally all ready to leave. Arriving in Accra was quite an experience – from the number of people, noise and heat it was hard to believe it was 10pm. In the midst of all the craziness the Assistant Program Manager (APM) was there to meet us with a big hug and a smile. We spent the first night in Accra and travelled to Takoradi the next day. Arriving in Takoradi, we were taken to the work the world house where we met our caterer and had our tour of the house.

Not only did the caterer cook amazing Ghanaian dishes, but she also whipped up some food from back home. She made the house feel like home very quickly and was fantastic! On the first day, the APM gave an induction to the town showing us the bank, post office, internet cafes and other essential places we may have needed giving us many hints and tips along the way that only a local could provide. Takoradi is a busy African town with an amazing market, where you really can buy anything.

For my placement I was based at the regional hospital in Takoradi. On our first day our APM took us to the hospital for our orientation and introduced us to everyone in the hospital. During the four-week placement I spent most of my time on the pediatric ward, but I also had the opportunity to spend time working in the A&E Department and Neonatal Unit. By spending the majority of my time on one ward the nursing staff grew to trust me and allowed me to take an active role within the team. I also had the opportunity to test out nursing skills I don’t often have the opportunity practice at home. My experiences working with the team on the ward was very positive, as everyone was very friendly and happy to help me.

During the placement I had the opportunity to look after children with a variety of conditions which are rare within England including Malaria, typhoid and TB. Working in a hospital with so few resources proved to be very different to what I was expecting, and at times was frustrating. One of the big benefits of living in the Work the World house was that on the odd day when I did have a hard shift I knew I could go back to the house and talk things over with other people having similar experiences. The work the world team in Ghana were very supportive, and always there to discuss our placement experiences.

Whilst my placement was the main reason for me visiting Ghana it only made up a part of my Ghana experience which made my trip so amazing. The majority of our shifts were early shifts, which gave us the afternoons to explore Takoradi and the surrounding areas, spend time at a local orphanage, or just to relax by the pool at Africa Beach. At the weekends, I had the opportunity to travel around Ghana with friends from the Work the World house and visit some truly amazing places including: Butre beach, Wli waterfalls in the Volta region and Lake Bosumtwi near Kumasi. I was also lucky enough to wake up in Kakum National Park on my 21st birthday – an experience I’ll never forget.

I had a truly amazing elective experience in Ghana, and I would recommend Work the World to anyone wanting to organize an elective placement in Africa. The Work the World team were incredibly supportive from the word go, and it was really helpful having everything organized for me. The team in Ghana were amazing, always happy to help us and going out of their way to ensure we had a fantastic time in Ghana.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The Work the World team were all that we could have hoped for

After months of planning we finally set off from Cambridge early one October morning. We left England in freezing conditions and arrived in Accra, 10 hours later, to overwhelming heat! The airport felt a bit scary but actually was straightforward. We had no problems getting through customs and everyone seemed very friendly. We were so glad though to be met by Ghana’s Assistant Program Manager as we came through the airport doors as there were dozens of taxi drivers rushing to ‘help’ us by taking our bags and trying to load them into their cars and then asking for money! However, the Work the World staff calmly sorted the right vehicles and off we went.

On the first night, we stayed in Accra after being taken out for a meal – Jollof – the first Jollof of many! We were up early the next morning for a 4-hour bus ride to the Work the World house in Takoradi where we were to stay for the next 3 weeks. Here the Assistant Program Manager ‘handed us over’ to the other staff who are just amazing. We were well looked after during our stay; the caterer cooked us great pancakes for breakfast and various meals in the evening, our favorite being red-red, a sort of bean stew. When we arrived we the staff took us on an orientation and helped us change our money into Ghanaian Cedi’s, took us out for a meal and even invited us to Church on Sunday! No matter what your religious views are it’s certainly worth going!

On the first Monday, we went to hospital, about 10 minutes away by taxi. The Program Manager showed us around, introduced us to the various people we needed to know and then left us to our first day of work. Three of us were in A&E, the others in maternity. We all had amazing experiences of working with the friendly staff in these areas. We could have just observed but wanted to be more hands-on. Once the staff realized that we were prepared to work, they were very keen to let us help where we could. We had taken scrubs with us, which were needed not just for getting into theatre in maternity but also for working on the wards. We hadn’t expected to wear them all the time, but it was actually better than wearing our own clothes as we felt more a part of the team.

During our stay we were also able to spend a few days at a local orphanage which was just an amazing opportunity.

We only had a couple of full weekends for travelling so didn’t venture as far as others do. But we spent a very peaceful day at Busua Beach, about 40 mins away. We also spent a night in Kakum National Park sleeping on a mattress on a small platform with just a mosquito net for safety! Then early the next morning, we went on a fantastic canopy walk to see the monkeys. We were really fortunate that on one weekend it was the Ghana world cup qualifier match against Lesotho and although we are not all football fans it was an experience not to be missed. However, I don’t think we’d have managed to get tickets if it had not been for a friendly taxi driver we had met through our Program Manager earlier in the week, as he endured what seemed like a rugby scrum to get them!

Our 3 weeks went far too quickly but has left us all with a real desire to go back, not only to Ghana but also to explore more of Africa. This was a first time to Africa for all of us and although we had been quite nervous beforehand we all agreed it was the most amazing time and worth all the planning and organizing of funds to see, first-hand, the health service in a country so different from ours. We were overwhelmed by people’s friendliness and fun and to had plenty of time to enjoy the delights of the beautiful beaches and local area.

The Work the World team were all that we could have hoped for and nothing seemed to be too much trouble for them, with any little problems being sorted out immediately. We were always able to contact John if we needed to and he would often ring one of us to make sure we were OK. Having all the placements sorted out for us, safe accommodation and travel arrangements organized was really important for us as first time travelers to Africa and just took away so much potential stress had we tried to piece together a trip like this ourselves.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Work the World ambience was everything I’d hoped for and more from my elective placement!

My friends and I decided, after a lot of thought, that we wanted to undertake our elective somewhere in Africa. We knew we didn’t want to organize the elective independently as we were under a lot of pressure with university work at the time, and none of us were very worldly and had never been travelling alone before!
I found out about Work the World through talking with a third year student nurse who had been on her elective with them that summer. The support and organization that Work the World provided sounded perfect for what we were looking for in a company - organization of accommodation, food and the placement. They even provided an online elective planner which included how to apply for your visa, information on currency, a kit list, your placement information, who your supervisors will be, language guide videos, general information about Ghana, and more.

All three of us were nervous, but excited when we stepped off of the plane in Accra. We waited for our luggage and it wasn’t until the final bags were released and the conveyer belt came to a standstill that we realized that we probably weren't getting our luggage that day!! Now slightly stressed and worried we were met by legendary Assistant Program Manager, who immediately put our minds at ease and sorted out the mix-up.

We arrived at the Takoradi house and were met by the energetic and enthusiastic housekeeper who made us feel welcome and at home almost instantly. Another member of the Work the World team, then took us for our induction around the town, showing us the market, places to eat and all other necessities we may have needed. After our first taste of African cuisine we headed back to the house to meet the other students and to sample the Work the World caterer’s renowned cooking (which was fantastic!).

On our first day of placement we were taken to the hospital where we were introduced to the welcoming and friendly staff. There were many clinical areas that we had the opportunity to experience, a few of which included A&E, pediatrics, gynecology, labor ward, neonatal intensive care and surgery. I was given my placement and rotated a week in each of the 4 wards I had asked for.

I was encouraged by all the staff to travel around Ghana at the weekends and they were all very flexible with our shifts if we asked to take a long weekend to do some exploring!

The people of Ghana are some of the friendliest, giving people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Not once in my 6 weeks of being in the country did I ever feel threatened or uncomfortable. All the Ghanaians want to know you and why you are visiting.
The weekends were a fantastic opportunity to travel around and see the sights in Ghana. We would almost always travel as a big group with all the other students that we lived with in the house and sometimes other travelers we met on the way! Living in the Takoradi house gave me the opportunity to meet some fantastic people and make great friends to share my experiences with, many of whom I am still in close contact with today.

In undertaking my placement with Work the World I had gained experience and knowledge that I had never encountered in my nursing training. I had the opportunity to cannulate and administer Intravenous infusions, witness births, care for and treat children with malaria and observe emergency caesarean sections and amputations in surgery.
Organizing my elective through Work the World provided me with a fantastic nursing elective. Not only was my placement specifically designed to meet my university and personal needs, but the friendly staff, accommodation, food and general Work the World ambience was everything I’d hoped for and more from my elective placement!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

I have memories that will be precious to me forever

When I found out that we had the opportunity to do an overseas elective in our second year of training I immediately knew I wanted to go to Africa. Having heard of Work the World through a nursing student in the year above, my friends and I looked at the website and knew it was for us straight away.

We chose Ghana for our 4-week placement, as it seemed to offer such a varied experience and we’d heard so much about the warmth and friendliness of the Ghanaian people, which really attracted us to it.

We had no hesitations and booked it online through Work the World as soon as we’d checked it through. The staff at Work the World both online and over the phone, gave us constant support when we were booking and smoothed out any queries we had. This made us so excited, and it was such an easy process as we had so much help and advice. Before we knew it we were on the plane, rucksacks packed, immunizations complete and farewells over.

Being a real home person, I was really, really nervous and found it so hard to say goodbye to my family and boyfriend etc., even though it was only a month! But as soon as we arrived at Accra airport we were greeted by the Assistant Program Manager from Work the World who was great. We had to stay overnight in Accra before travelling to Takoradi in the morning. Nightmare hit as our bags were lost at the airport, but even that didn’t faze us as the Assistant Program Manager in Ghana took such good care of us and Work the World were so helpful.

Once we eventually arrived in Takoradi and were reunited with our long lost bags, we were taken to the house, which would be our home for the next month or so. I realize now how silly it was to be nervous about the details, because we were shown around all the local places to get internet, phone cards and how to get the different types of taxis and infamous ‘tro tro’ (Google this!). We also met our caterer who cooked for us every day. We became such good friends with him and he totally made my trip. We were spoiled with food, having a delicious selection of Ghanaian foods with a twist to suit our tastes. It was great meeting other students in the house who were also doing their nursing and medical electives. For our first day of placement we were shown our departments and clinics. I was in a clinic for the first week, and the main regional hospital for the next 3 weeks. I spent time in A&E, and in the Pediatrics and Labor wards. We were able to do so much, and doctors were more than happy to let us insert cannulas, catheters and everything! It is such a different style of nursing care and health care in general, which takes some getting used to at first but you get so absorbed in the culture that you become used to it quickly.

One thing I found particularly difficult is the delivery of nursing care. I found the nurses very abrupt and if ever I held a patient’s hand to comfort them or used non-verbal communication skills, the nurses laughed at us and thought it was unnecessary. All of our placement was organized by Work the World which made us feel so assured that we were going to get great experience, and we absolutely did. I am so happy I did my elective through Work the World. The unfailing support, organization and friendliness made my trip what is was, and living in the Takoradi house was so much fun, with some awesome people.

I would most certainly recommend Ghana as it has so much to offer. We travelled every weekend and saw so much of the beautiful Ghanaian experiences, even though I was only there for a month. Someone once said to me that once you experience Africa, you will have it in your heart forever. Now I know just what they were talking about. My time in Ghana taught me so much and enabled me to grow so much as a nurse, and as a person. I have memories that will be precious to me forever, and I will never forget the situations I experienced as a nurse.