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'I feel very privileged to be living in the British Isles', says Jersey nurse after Tanzania hospital work

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A NURSING graduate from Jersey says she was shocked by the health inequalities she encountered while on a work placement in Tanzania.

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Sarah Tate, who divided her time between studying at the University of Chester and completing practical work experience in Jersey, arranged her own placement in Africa to broaden her understanding of healthcare issues.

The 24-year-old has finished the three-year BN (Child) Student Nurse Programme and hopes to return to Jersey to work.

She said working in a hospital in Tanzania was like a different world compared to what she had experienced here and in the UK. ‘The health inequalities between Tanzania and the wealthy nations are pretty shocking,’ she said. ‘Basic education and basic medical resources are lacking and some of the things I saw were entirely preventable, such as malaria in children, where a simple thing like a mosquito net would save many lives.’

She added: ‘I feel we should be doing more to help. I also feel very privileged to be living in the British Isles, where we receive some of the best healthcare in the world.’

Studying at the University of Chester was a challenge for Sarah, who divided her time between the city and her home in Jersey. She attended the University’s Riverside Campus for theory sessions and returned to Jersey to complete practical placements.

‘Travel could be difficult, like when bad weather meant flights were cancelled, and accessing resources like the library for assignments at Chester sometimes wasn’t easy. But the staff at the university have always been very supportive.’

During her course she worked in the paediatric intensive care unit at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, in Liverpool, an experience that helped convince Sarah her future was in nursing sick children.

‘Gaining my qualification as a children’s nurse means I’m now able to work in a range of different settings where children need medical intervention. And it also means I’ll be able to travel with my job. One day I’d like to work in Australia and gain more experience of working in another country.’

Sarah’s tutor, Lucy Wallace, programme leader Children and Young People’s Nursing, said: ‘Dividing her time between Chester and Jersey has undoubtedly been challenging for Sarah, but with the support of the university staff, she has excelled.

‘Arranging her own work placement in Tanzania enhanced her programme and she shared the experience by discussing it with her peers, broadening their knowledge of the wider global healthcare situation.’

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