Marianne Kokholm Soerensen 25, is one of the twelve girls who have chosen to do a semester in Bangkok far away from the safe grounds at Aarhus Nurse School in Denmark. Marianne is on her sixth semester out of seven and next year she can call herself a nurse. Marianne is not a completely newcomer to Thailand .Traveling the region in 2002 she also took time to do voluntary work at an orphanage for handicapped children near Bangkok.
“This time around I just had the opportunity to study abroad and when you have an opportunity then better grab it. You never know when you will get it again. Being able to see it all again and work with the fantastic Thai people again was of course a big plus” says Marianne who originally comes from the small town of Tvis near Holstebro.
Self Paid Study
Life as a student nurse in Bangkok lasts for about ten weeks and its all on the students own expense, but at least they can keep their study grant while away. The school in Denmark helps organizing flight tickets, insurance and accommodation via a travel agency and in Bangkok the students can get help on practical problems and on a professional level as well. Arriving in Bangkok, the two first weeks are used at a language school to ensure the basic Thai skills are achieved.
Different Working Culture
Tvis is far away from Ramathibodi and now halfway through her time at the hospital Marianne is very much aware of the difference between how things are done here compared to back home. Ramathibodi, one of the biggest hospitals in Bangkok, is a public university hospital and Marianne is working at the intermediate ward. It’s a ward for patients who are in semi intensive care. Patients who typically have a lung or a heart disease that needs a machine to help keeping them alive.
“To me it seems a bit too technical or mechanical the way the Thais take care of patients. They check the machines to ensure that the patient is stable but they do not talk to the patients which is a natural thing for us to do even the patient is not conscious” says Marianne Kokholm Soerensen , who at the same time stresses out that it is not at all to criticize the Thai way of doing things.
“Everything is functioning very well but it can be frustrating to have to deal with the difference in working culture” Marianne says and further explains that it’s not really approved to ask too many questions regarding procedures or to argue about them which can be difficult when you are coming from a society where you are rewarded for being curious and critical.
Go if You Can
Marianne Kokholm Soerensen has experienced that the way of doing the job vary a lot from ward to ward and a thing like for instance carrying protection masks is an individual matter.
“Handling the frustrations are well part of the learning process of being a student but fortunately we also get the opportunity to show our Thai colleagues how things would be carried out if it was a Danish hospital” Marianne explains, and says she can only recommend fellow students in Denmark to become a student nurse in Bangkok.
“Bangkok is a fantastic place with so many things to do and studying here you get so many inputs in such a short time. Go if you can” is the clear message from Marianne.