‘It’s seeing the differences and increasing understanding’ - Student nurse to work in Tanzanian mental health hospital
PUBLISHED: 14:53 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:33 30 March 2017
A trainee nurse is set to spend three weeks working at a mental health hospital in Tanzania.
Karen Ollosson, 46, of Norwich, will travel to Dar Es Salaam in August to see how mental health patients are treated there and compare experiences with other visiting foreign nurses.
Mrs Ollosson, who is in her second year of studying mental health nursing at University of East Anglia (UEA), said she was excited to learn how patients are treated in another part of the world.
When asked why she had chosen to go to Tanzania she replied: “Why not?
“It’s seeing the differences and understanding the issues out there.
“A lot of people moan about our local services so it will be very interesting to see what another country has got.
“I’m curious about the culture and the way mental health is viewed there. We have done a lot of work in the UK on stigma but it will be very interesting to see how people view it there.”
Mrs Ollosson is also planning to bring extra aprons, plastic gloves, and other bits of basic equipment which she and other nurses at the hospital will need.
She said Qatar Airways, with whom she is flying, has allowed her an extra five kilos of luggage so she can bring extra supplies.
“I envisage the treatment standards won’t be as high in Tanzania as they are here,” she said.
“I know they have got a much poorer ratio of psychiatrists per population - it’s very poor compared to the UK.
“But I’m not going to go there with the attitude that I know everything and we in the UK do it the right way.”
She spent around a decade working in administration for the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), prior to joining the UEA as a student nurse.
“I applied to be a mental health nurse because I want to make a difference to someone’s life,” she said.
“If I can do that for one person it will have been worth it.”
Mrs Ollosson needs to raise £3,000 for the trip, which will be organised by ‘Work the World’.
To donate to Mrs Ollosson click here.