Monday, May 15, 2017

Take me to Taiwan

Hello from Taiwan!

Many of you may be wondering what I am doing 6,936 miles away from home (without my cute husband 😢 ).. I am currently on (another) study abroad! This time I am with BYU's College of Nursing. A Public & Global Health Practicum is required for my graduation, believe it or not. I feel incredibly blessed to be here. First off, many people are not fortunate enough to go to University. Second, of those who do, most are not able to do one study abroad let alone TWO.
I always say I am the luckiest person I know, and honestly I mean it.
I am here with 13 other nursing students (9 of which are from my cohort, 4 from the semester above) and two BYU faculty members--Craig and Ryan. We love* them. We also have Jane, our Taiwanese translator. She is a nurse at the hospital we work at and her English is AMAZING. She is the most darling person I have ever met.

*drive them up a wall.

As Taiwan is a developed country, we are working inside a main hospital in Tainan. We do not have a ton of ability to practice skills here, but I have learned SO MUCH from watching the amazing nurses and doctors who work here. In the States, most nurses on a med-surge floor have 3 or 4 patients. Here a nurse will have 8-12, and up to 25 during night shift. On top of that, Taiwan does not have CNA's/patient care techs to help out. THAT IS CRAZY. Ironically enough, the nurses here never complain about patient load or patients that require extra attention. The Taiwanese nurses give 110% to their patients. They are so kind, giving, and humble. Taiwanese physicians also seem to have very good relationships with the nurses, which is something I greatly admire.

I'll just give you a quick rundown of the adventure so far:

We spent the first day in Taipei, traveled to Tainan, and visited "Monkey Mountain" -- where there really are just monkeys roaming around. Turns out monkeys are pretty mean.
The next day we attended church in Tainan and went to the legendary "stake pit". Honestly, we were all just sooooooooooo jet-lagged. Adjusting to a 14 hr time difference is a whole different beast than the 7 I am used to.
Monday we had orientation all day long on the hospitals we are working at!
And last Tuesday we began clinical bright and early. I spent the first two days in the ER. IT WAS SO COOL.
We also played badminton one night with some doctors. Apparently it's like a national sport here and a HUGE deal.... We just played at a high school but they had a massive arena. How sweet is that?
Wednesday-Friday we traveled to the other side of the Island and visited Hualien and Taroko Gorge National Park. aka the prettiest place on earth.

We hiked a bajillion stairs up the mountain to this temple for some killer views... I have never sweat so much in my life. No joke, we were all just dripping. We are talking hair soaked, sweat beads running down your legs, wet-in-places-you-never-want-to-be kind of sweating.

But for a view like this??

Is this not the most beautiful place you have ever seen?!?? I am pretty sure this is what heaven will look like. Only with Austin there, too.

That was week one! After sweating our way through Hualien we got on the train for 6 hours and went back to Tainan to start another week of clinical. 

It has been so amazing to observe another culture, visit incredible places, and understand a little more about God's love for His children all over the globe. I am so excited to see where the next two weeks take me!

Love Always, Aimee