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Posted on Feb 20 2023 by Fiona Bailey

An “ambitious and enthusiastic” student nurse who is currently on the Aspire programme is getting ready to gain work experience in the East African country Tanzania.

As part of completing her nursing qualification Lisa Whenman must complete work experience and when the opportunity arose to go aboard, she leapt at the chance.

The 27-year-old said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I absolutely knew that I wanted to complete my training abroad and do an international placement. I am so excited about it, but I am also starting to feel a little daunted by the prospect of going to live in a different country for a bit.

“I decided Tanzania would be the right fit for me as they mostly speak English there and I didn’t want the language to be too much of a barrier for me. I know in some parts they also speak Swahili, so I’ve learnt a few key phrases to help me get by.”

She is leaving her cat and boyfriend behind in Northampton when she flies out next weekend. After her initial induction she will do two weeks on psychiatric wards, followed by a week in paediatrics and then her fourth week will be in surgery.

She said: “I think it’s going to be a real eye opener while I’m there, just to see their different approaches to mental health. I think it might also be quite an emotive journey for me as I’ve already been told there’s a male ward that is too dangerous for me to work on.

“I think some of their methods will be quote old school as I think they might still use mechanical restraints. I’m hoping I won’t see them in operation as I think that will upset me. But I’m not going there to judge or criticise their approaches, I just want to learn, soak up the culture and expand my minds a bit.”

Aspire Programme Lead Emma Swain said: “Lisa is an inspiration to us all and her yearning to learn just shines through her. We are thrilled to have such an ambitious and enthusiastic student as part of our Aspire programme and we hope she gets everything she hopes for – and more – out of her trip. We can’t wait to hear about your adventures Lisa.”

Lisa said she plans to journal throughout her four-week work experience placement and will be sending pictures and publishing them on the internal Facebook My St Andrew’s.

Once Lisa is back in the UK she has already agreed to take part in the Round Up so she can share her experience and learnings with the rest of the Charity.

To find out more about Aspire, click here