University of South Florida
Kenya Nursing Elective
I was about to do my fourth year and interested in an elective placement overseas when a friend recommended Elective International. I’d heard the name but didn’t know much about it. So I went online to find out more and got really interested. The good thing about EI is that they got back to me right away. In high school, I made friends with an exchange student from Kenya and got really interested in the country. I thought it’d be great to do an elective there and I’m glad I made the choice.
The EI nursing placement is exactly what I wanted. The EI staff are polite and knowledgeable. They helped me put it together and were always ready with advice whenever I needed it. I felt quite secure getting on the plane knowing everything on the other end was set up properly.
Kenya was even more amazing than I expected. It’s a perfect blend of the modern and the wild. There was some spectacular scenery on the flight in and I couldn’t wait to touch down. I got picked up from the Moi international airport by Francis, who is just the coolest guy. He took me to the house, where I met some of the others doing a placement. After Francis showed me around town and sorted out my phone issues and we had lunch at a spectacular beach restaurant called yuls, which I frequently visited after that first time.
The placement I thought was going to be super-daunting but from the beginning, the staff at the coast general hospital were really supportive. They welcomed me right away and made me feel like part of the team. I really enjoyed looking after my patients. From what I understand the Kenyan health care system is quite advanced compared to a lot of those in the rest of Africa. And I definitely got to see some of that in some of the protocols they use. There are a lot of diabetes cases in Kenya but by far the most challenging those that turned out to be advanced HIV cases and complications.
I had some free time and on my first weekend, I went diving off the wasini island which was incredible. A bunch of us were regulars at the beach sunbathing. Mombasa has stunning beaches like nothing I’ve ever seen. It was definitely a treat to spend as much time on them as I did. Even though I only spent three weeks in Mombasa I learned and experienced what feels like a year’s worth. I am definitely a better nurse for having done it.
If you’ve read this far, you’re already more than thinking about it. Just go, and have an experience you won’t forget.