Critical care unit nurses at Basildon University Hospital have been passing on their knowledge and expertise to two Dutch nursing students.
Lieke Blonk, 22 and Vincent Wenning, 20, are both students on the same nursing course at Nova College in Haarlem, the Netherlands and successfully applied for an internship on the Erasmus exchange course.
They were placed at Basildon University Hospital and spent ten weeks on the critical care unit (CCU) getting the experience of providing high dependency care.
Lieke said: “The biggest difference between here and the Netherlands is the amount of paperwork – our systems are all digital. I was really nervous when we were told we would be placed on CCU, but after the first few days I enjoyed it and have learnt so much about life support. I think critical care is something I want to pursue.”
Vincent added: “We don’t get the option for a placement on CCU in the Netherlands so this was a great opportunity. I want to become a paramedic so this has been a great experience for me. I think the thing I’ve really noticed is how much the team work together on CCU. If someone asks for help, there is always someone else ready to give it, it’s great.”
On CCU they were ‘buddied’ up with nurses Carmen Collado-Quesada, Borja Chinchilla-Tavira, Sarah Batin and Raj Murugesan, who praised their willingness to learn.
Carmel Georgiev, senior sister in CCU, added: “Vincent and Lieke have been absolutely fantastic and I want to thank them for their hard work. CCU can be a demanding nursing environment to work in, so the fact the team, especially Raj and Sarah, were able to pass on their knowledge and expertise is something I think we are all very proud of.”
Lieke and Vincent, both in their third year of the four year course, have had their Erasmus placements facilitated by Anglia Ruskin University.