I have just come back from 2 weeks work experience in a hospital in India. I had an amazing time! I was in Vasundhara Hospital and fertility clinic in Jodhpur. At first I was shocked by the conditions and how different it was from the UK. The doctors would answer their phones during a surgery and people would constantly be walking in and out. The anaesthetist even fell asleep in one of the surgeries I saw. Also the cameras used in the endoscopies were usually faulty. However, I was allowed me to see much more than I would in the UK, such as a varicose vein being cut in a man’s testicle, ovarian cists being drained and many laparoscopic surgeries in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions.
The most memorable thing that I saw would have to be natural childbirth. It was worse than I expected and they had to cut the woman’s vagina which made me cringe inwardly. However when the baby arrived I felt such a sense of happiness that I understood why women go through all that pain and continue to have more children after they know how much they will suffer. I also saw a caesarean birth and was again shocked by the brutality with which they cut open the tummy and all the layers and finally the amniotic sac.
Another thing which intrigued me was IVF treatment. A penis shaped metal instrument was inserted into the woman’s vagina and then opened up a bit. Then a tiny tube with a syringe attached was inserted very gently through and the embryos in the syringe inserted slowly so as not to be regurgitated. I also saw an intra uterine insemination (IUI) which was exactly the same process as IVF but with sperm in the syringe rather than embryos. I was also told that the plastic of the tube was different for the 2 different procedures. A reason for having IUI would be sperm immobility so the mobile sperm are individually selected and inserted (sperm washing).
I had never seen a surgery before going to India so I was worried that I would be squeamish, however I surprised myself by how calm I was in the surgeries. I was too engrossed in the procedures to be uneasy, so I could possibly have a career in surgery.
I also visited an orphanage for mentally and physically disabled children with some others. There was a woman who spoke English and she greeted us and showed us round. They had very basic facilities – cots, lockers etc. We helped feed the kids, which was quite difficult because they don’t have normal reactions such as to chew when there is food in their mouth. It’s sad to think that these children will never have a normal life and will always need help in even the simplest of actions.
While in India I stayed in a house with about 20 other students my age doing work experience in the same and other hospitals. Living together and having next to no entertainment meant that we formed strong friendships fast and I really enjoyed my time at the house and exploring the towns with the others. I took a fancy to Indian tea and brought some of the masala tea spice back home with me. I can honestly say that I am going to miss the crazy Indian driving, haggling prices for rickshaw rides and seeing cows everywhere, even in the middle of the roads. It was one of the best experiences of my life.