I have officially made it and settled into my home for the next two months. Living in Sto. Tomas has so far proved to be challenging yet possible and fun yet educational. I’m getting used to both the subtle and obvious differences in life here compared to The States. Things like getting around and communicating have required me to adapt and adjust which was tough at first but now I see it as an awesome opportunity for growth. The highlights of this past week include our day of cultural orientation with all of the IWU FA interns, interacting with patients, making our living space a home, practicing nursing skills, riding the Jeepney, adventuring with new foods, playing basketball, enjoying live music, and seeing beautiful views. Above all, I’ve enjoyed getting to know and live alongside the resourceful, resilient, kind, smiley, and smart Filipinos.
One thing that I have been consistently shocked by is the welcoming kindness of the Filipino people that we have encountered. Despite our differences in age, language, and culture, our hospital coworkers that we have met throughout our first week here have been incredible. They have fed us, driven us to see places in the Batangas, taught us Tagalog, and so much more! Making plans to go out with our coworkers after our shifts has made this week super fun!
Our first internship day was an orientation which included a presentation and a tour of the hospital. On our second day, I got to administer COVID-19 vaccines to hospital employees which was an awesome experience and great practice. For the rest of the week, Sir Jeff (our preceptor) had us on Station 1, the general ward. They have a wide variety of patient population and is comparable to a med surge floor. While here we have gotten to interact with patients, observe IVs, learn about meds, review nursing procedures like catheter insertions, prepare and pass meds, assess, and meet other practitioners. I am looking forward to more experiences at St. Cabrini because in this short time I feel like I’ve already learned so much!
Throughout the week I’ve eaten lots of good and some exotic food including Sisig, Lomi, Chami, halo-halo, squid, intestine, pancit, and of course lots of rice! There are so many food options around the town that I could try somewhere new every day! While we’ve been here we’ve explored the wet market, ridden the jeepney to and from work, gone out for dinner and drinks with coworkers, played basketball like a local, visited the Taal Lake, saw the San Padre Pio shrine, and visited the Monte Maria (from a distance).
I can’t wait to see what the rest of this experience holds, stay tuned for more next week!