2018 Summer Study Abroad Blog: England


July 6, 2018 | Author: Eric Hudnall

Friday was an awesome day being able to reflect back on our experiences and share them with the staff of Coventry University, and also with the staff of George Elliot Hospital.

study abroad group photo

Each student made a short PowerPoint presentation highlighting their favorite experiences,  and what they will take back from the study abroad experience. After the presentation was over we had one final lunch with our professors. We then said our goodbye and the students went in separate directions.

Overall, the experience was more than I could have ever expected and the connections we made will last a lifetime.

July 5, 2018 | Author: Sati McLeod

Today we attended the master’s level course of “Advanced Clinical Health Assessment—Muscular Skeletal System.” There, we learned how to diagnose illness based on musculoskeletal assessment of a patient. We enjoyed today’s class and the professor was so happy with our engagement that she honorably invited us to join the master’s level students in a health assessment practical simulation, where students performed head-to-toe assessments on each other. Many of us could exchange knowledge with the Coventry University students since taking health assessment in our first semester of nursing school!

Coventry CathedralCoventry CathedralLater in the day, we visited Coventry Cathedral and climbed the bell tower to view the whole city. We learned about the bombing of the cathedral in World War I,I where more than 500 citizens of Coventry died. A statue of a man and woman hugging on the site is symbolic for the new era of peace following the war.

presentation prepAt the end of the day, we began preparations for our end-of-course presentations. We are expected to give a detailed description of our experience and how it influenced us. Friday, we will present in front of faculty and staff of Coventry University and Caludon Center. Wish us luck!

July 4, 2018 | Author: Janie Carlson

doubledecker busHappy Fourth of July! We started our day off by taking a double-decker bus to the Coventry Foodbank. We had yet to take one of the city buses, so it took us a little bit of time to figure out which side we needed to be on and how much it was going to cost. But we made it on and had a great time on the second level! When we got to our stop, we walked to the foodbank warehouse, where we met Hugh, the manager of the foodbank. He showed us a presentation of what poverty was like in the U.K., and how food is something that connects us all. He also explained that everyone at the foodbank has a story, and it’s important to remember when interacting with the people at the foodbank. After the presentation, we toured the warehouse where they store everything that they hand out to all their facilities. The first thing that struck me about the warehouse was how organized it was. They had everything sorted by type of food, date and category. They also had more than just food—they have a clothing section, toiletries and a bike repair shop. They really are concerned about helping people in every area.

picture with hughThis was also seen in the stories of the different volunteers Hugh told us about. One woman who volunteered there was living slightly above the poverty line and a single mother. She went on to become a full-time employee who asked to work the fork-lift. The foodbank provided her training and she quickly started driving the fork-lifts. She now works as a bus driver because the bus company was so impressed by her skills. I thought it was great how this foodbank was helping people have better lives for themselves and their families through their hard work. After the tour, Hugh helped us celebrate U.S. Independence Day by giving us donuts! We really felt welcomed and appreciated by the workers.

foodbank warehouseWe then drove to the food bank we were working at, which was at a Baptist church in one of the poorer neighborhoods in Coventry. We split up in roles between packing the food bags, picking up the vouchers and talking with the people who had come in. I started with the vouchers, which state the person’s name, identification number (to make sure they are registered in the foodbank system), number of family members, and why they were at the foodbank. We then went to that individual to verify the information on the voucher and then go through food allergies/dietary restrictions, what food they did and did not want, and if they needed cat or dog food. The next step was to give the list to the packers, who packed the bags for that individual. The amount of food depended on the number of people in the family (single, single mother/couple, two children, etc.). We also volunteered on a day that they were handing out fresh food, so everyone at the foodbank was able to get fresh fruit, lettuce and bread that had been donated. The food was then delivered to that individual for them to take home.

packing foodThe process was very structured, but also very considerate of the individual and their family needs. I learned that there were many different reasons for people to need food from the foodbank, whether it be low income, working less hours or not having a job. There were also a lot of families who needed food, which was understandable because that means more people who need food when it is already difficult to provide food for one’s self. I talked to a woman who had two young children and had immigrated to the U.K. from Romania. Even though it has been three years, she still struggles to get food for her children, which shows how difficult it can be for immigrants to be able to build a life in another country that already has a wide gap between the rich and the poor. This foodbank is doing amazing things for their community! It was a great experience and we all learned a lot from today.

July 3, 2018 | Author: Cynthia Burnett

Today we had the opportunity to tour the Caludon Centre and learn about their mental health services. Our tour started at the intensive outpatient center in Nuneaton. I was blown away at the art therapy they incorporated and at the way the facility felt like a home and a place of comfort instead of a sterile cold facility. One of the forms of art therapy incorporated a moth that was made up of all the negative words a patient felt about himself or herself or about mental disease in general. Once the moth was completed, the patients then wrote words of positivity about themselves and a butterfly was created.

Caludon Centre butterflyCaludon Centre butterflyCaludon Centre butterflyCaludon Centre

Some of the most interesting components of the United Kingdom are showcased in how they handle mental health patients in the community. Nurses are actually used by police stations by going to assess patients alongside police officers for calls that incorporate signs of mental disturbances. This is something that I, for one, would love to see in the states.  This experience has been eye-opening in regard to the differences between the U.S health care system and the health care system in the U.K.

July 2, 2018 | Author: Tanisia Esalomi

Coventry LectureToday was a day filled with many learning opportunities from staff at Coventry University. We attended two classroom activities which included lectures on Contemporary issues in Adult Nursing and Developments in Forensic Mental Health. For the first lecture we were able to be in the same classroom as the Coventry nursing students. It was interesting to see the classroom dynamic, which was an open for students to offer their insights and opinions.

Coventry LectureWe learned more about the roles of a practicing nurse in the United Kingdom and the interdisciplinary relationship with other health care professionals. With responsibilities such as wound management, immunizations and patient education we were able to really see the similarities in roles between nurses in the United States and the U.K.

A major difference between our health care systems that we’ve been learning about is the free health care that is provided to the citizens of the U.K. Despite this difference, it was interesting to note that they still face some of the same challenges we encounter in America, such as workforce supply due to the shortage of nurses and the increasingly aging population. Something I think we all enjoyed learning about with this lecture was the great emphasis that is placed on community care and preventing admission into the hospital.

Coventry LectureThe second lecture given on Forensic Mental Health was a topic that covered the history of the field as well as how such events have manifested into laws and practices that are put in place today. Although this lecture just consisted of our group, we went over the time we were supposed to be there because we were so interested in learning about the structure of the system as well as learning about the mentally ill criminals who were responsible for the development of many of the provisions for forensic mental health nursing.

We are excited to take this knowledge back with us and see how it compares to the field of mental health in the U.S.

June 30-July 1, 2018 | Authors: Sati McLeod and Maddie Hickey

Over the weekend, the UF group was free to have self-coordinated excursions! Most of the students went to Paris, France, while Sati and the professors stayed behind to explore some areas around Coventry. We will be following both groups throughout their journeys.

group shotTo start the journey, the Paris group encountered a few travel mishaps (two students missed their flight while another two students missed their train), but after encountering the enchanting nature of the country, this soon became a distant memory. As of 10 a.m. Saturday morning, the eight of us were reunited in Paris.

During our stay in Paris, we resided at a hostel, which is a budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed. It was specifically designed for young tourists wishing to explore the city. We were merely a train ride away from the Eiffel Tower. As you can see, we took advantage of this perk several times throughout our stay. I bought a black beret from one of the street vendors and wore it on my head while visiting the tower, adding value to my cultural experience during this trip.

Coventry GardensFirst up for the England group is Leamington Spa. This is a quaint little town just one train stop outside of Coventry. There, Dr. Delpech, Dr. D’Alessandro and Sati explored the small shops and checked out the local food.

Next stop for this group is Stratford upon Avon which is the birthplace of Shakespeare. There, Sati and Dr. D’Alessandro got to visit several Shakespearean sites, including his birthplace and the gardens. They learned about Shakespeare’s influence on literature and theater as well as his family history. What an honor to stand where he stood!

Stratford is easily one of the most beautiful sites in England, attracting thousands of tourists. This weekend, the River Festival took place just off the canals that run through Stratford. Sati and Dr. D’Alessandro ate from the local food trucks, listened to live music and rode the ferris wheel.

eiffel towerMeanwhile in Paris, we visited the Louvre, the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument. It is home to a multitude of famous paintings, but is perhaps best known for being home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The entry fee was waived since we are technically considered “U.K. students” due to our study abroad agreement with Coventry University. The museum consists of an estimated 35,000 paintings, sculptures and various other works of art. It’s safe to say that we spent about three-plus hours wandering around and looking at various exhibits throughout the museum. On the walk back from the museum, we encountered a gay pride parade that France was hosting for the weekend. We enjoyed the upbeat music and lively nature of the people. We even stopped to take a few photos.

On Sunday, the England group visited Oxford, U.K., which is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, Oxford University. There, the group took a walking tour of the city, saw some Harry Potter and Narnia film sites and learned some interesting historical information. Did you know the first college of Oxford University was established in the year 1249 or that Mary Tudor ordered a man to be burned at stake in the center of the city?

On the following day, we decided to visit The Palace of Versailles, a museum and former seat of power, whose origins date back to the 17th Century. We stood in line in the 90-degree heat waiting for entry to the palace, but it was well worth it. The museum offers a chronological view of France’s history from the middles ages up until the late 19th century.

castleThe walls were lined with paintings depicting many intricate details, but I would argue that the most breathtaking aspect was the ceilings. We had lunch inside the museum at a restaurant called “Angelina.” Some of us indulged and ordered pastries, such as eclairs and macaroons.

Before we knew it, it was already time to head back to the train which would eventually return us to the airport. Interestingly enough, I am currently typing this blog post from thousands of miles in the sky aboard our return flight.

Our time in Paris may have been short, but it was absolutely unforgettable.

Also, travel tip: Visiting tourist attractions during the night is the best way to avoid crowds! (And the HEAT!!! Unfortunately, air conditioning is not widely used here, and we are all very much aware of it during these warmer summer days.) It’s worth mentioning that the majority of us knew nothing of the French language, but surprisingly, we encountered very few communication barriers and were able to succeed in navigating the city.

We hope you enjoyed reading about our weekend excursions, and time spent on leisure activities. We promise to get back to the nursing-related aspects of our trip soon!


Sati McLeod & Maddie Hickey

June 29, 2018 | Author: Kim Nguyen

Warwick CastleToday, our group went to visit Warwick Castle. The train ride to Warwick took about 20 minutes. Before arriving at the castle, we had lunch at a restaurant called Bread and Company, where I ordered a Mackerel Melt that was delicious. It consisted of mackerel and cheese on two pieces of toast. We walked about 15 minutes from the restaurant to arrive at Warwick Castle. The castle has housed many medieval kings and earls, and prominent past residents of the castle include members of the Greville family.

Coventry Day TripWe learned the history of the events that took place in the castle through interactive presentations and a self-guided tour. We also managed to climb to the top of a tower, which was quite an exercise. The view from the top of the tower made the climb worth it, however. We could see the tops of houses in the old city of Warwick and view the great green plains.

After we left the city of Warwick, eight members of our group took a trip to Paris, France. Sati decided to spend her weekend in England with Dr. Delpech and Dr. D’alessandro. Ehsan and Eric took the train to Paris, while the rest of us decided to take a plane. We took a train from Warwick to London, but we underestimated how far the London Luton airport was from the train station. The train ride to the Luton airport from the London train station took a little bit over an hour. We rushed from station-to-station to try to make it to the airport in time. We also rushed through airport security as quick as we could to get to our gate.

Train Ride to ParisTanisia, Maddie, Janie and I made it to the gate at the last minute before the doors closed. Unfortunately, Alexa’s bag was set aside to be checked by security. Jill stayed behind with Alexa, and the two were not able to make it onto the flight. Alexa and Jill have booked a hotel for the time being, and are taking a train in the morning to get to Paris.

Ehsan and Eric also missed their train ride to Paris, and they were placed on a later train and made it to Paris two hours later than intended. Tanisia, Maddie, Janie, Ehsan, Eric and I are now staying at a hostel that is within walking distance to the Eiffel Tower.

Let’s see what’s in store for us in Paris!

June 28, 2018 | Author: Ehsan Munir

Coventry Study Abroad GroupToday was a very special day for all of us as we were fortunate enough to be a part of Coventry University’s third-year nursing students’ live-action simulation. To obtain your nursing license in the United Kingdom, you must pass the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), which is just one of many examinations. This is a live proctored simulation where students must respond appropriately to given nursing scenarios. Coventry University provides practical simulations with paid actors to fill the role of a patient with a medical condition. This was an incredible experience as we were able to put our nursing skills to the test in a controlled environment. Not to mention, the dedication that the actors had to their roles was quite impressive!

SimulationAfter simulation, we collaborated with the students and nursing staff on what went well in handling the situation, and what could be improved upon. It was interesting to learn the thought process of a nurse from an English perspective, as well as share our knowledge on critical thinking and analyzation of nursing care.

Following lunch break, we went to one of Coventry’s oldest buildings, St. Mary’s Guildhall, for a tour of the medieval architecture, and Merchant Royal history. What was once a ceremonial base for merchant guilds and Mary Queen of Scots’ exiled dormitory, is now a significant hall for all to see much of Coventry’s rich architectural art, medieval armor and famous tapestries. To end our tour, we had traditional British cream tea with delicious scones at The Undercroft. After all, how could we not have tea while we were in “cream-country,” as one local stated.

Tea and SconesAll in all, today was filled with much appreciation for the nursing staff at Coventry University for allowing us to be a part of simulation. As I end my post, we head to the student hub to cheer on our fellow friends in their football match against Belgium in the World Cup.

June 27, 2018 | Author: Alexa Lageyre

Alexa Lageyre blogToday we started the day in a class about equality and diversity in education and nursing practice. The professor gave us the history of the Disability Discrimination Act and the Equality Act so we could understand how the treatment of disabled people changed in the U.K. over the last couple of decades.

Alexa Lageyre blogWe then discussed the stigma surrounding disabled people in the workplace and got to hear perspectives of students from countries such as China, Poland and India. It was interesting to compare the policies that each of the countries have in place to protect the rights of the disabled. Regardless of the differences, we were all able to agree that there needs to be an increase in awareness about disabilities, both physical and mental.

After our lunch break, we drove to George Eliot Hospital, where we toured the facility. We saw various wards, including the Acute Medical Unit, Day Procedures Unit, Intensive Care Unit and Maternity ward. We were easily able to see the many differences between this hospital and our facilities back home in Florida.

Alexa Lageyre blogThey didn’t have many individual patient rooms, and nurses often have two or three times the amount of patients under their care that nurses in the United States do. We also learned that almost all of their charting is done on paper as opposed to electronically.

I think that our experience today was really eye opening and showed us that even though we do things very differently from nurses in the U.K., we can both be just as passionate about providing the best possible care.

June 26, 2018 | Author: Eric Hudnall

Coventry University classDuring our second day in Coventry we had a productive full day of activities. We started the day with third-year (senior) adult nursing students from Coventry University. Our first lecture was on development and coordination of complex care focusing on the illness rather than the diagnosis.

After given more insight on the purpose of the lecture, it was related to the patient’s experience with a chronic illness. For example, one patient with rheumatoid arthritis might say the most debilitating issue surrounding her illness is pain, while another patient would say that not being able to play her favorite sport anymore is the worst part. The point is to understand your patient all the way through and not just stop at the diagnosis they are given at the hospital.

Simulation at Auto Museum CoventryThe lecture was very holistic-based and showed all the different opportunities that are offered to assist the patient in maintaining their best possible life.

The second lecture was about long-term conditions and the multidisciplinary team. This entailed the different professions and when they should be implemented into the care of the patient. The Coventry students’ homework assignment was a 3,500-word care plan that specifically mapped out the profession that would be used, and when to implement them into the care plan.

After class was over, we ate lunch together at a local restaurant called The Cozy Club. Following lunch we went to the rail station to get our train tickets for Friday, when we will be visiting Warwick Castle. After purchasing our tickets, we went to the Coventry Transportation Museum.

Car SimulationCoventry used to be called the “Detroit of the U.K.” It has produced cars for countries all across the world, including Jaguar, Land Rover, Daimler and Peugeot. The museum outlines the start of transportation with the first bicycles and moves on into the first world war. This is when Coventry shifted its focus and started building vehicles for the military.

We also got to do a simulation of the jet-propelled car that broke the land speed record at 763 miles per hour. The car was also there on display.

Today was a great day full of very interesting nursing lecture, but also history about Coventry.

June 25, 2018 | Author: Madeline R. Hickey

Study Abroad group - EnglandToday marked the first official day of our study abroad program in Coventry, England. Our home for the next two weeks is Priory Hall, a dorm located in the center of campus. We started our day at 9 a.m. for a welcome event with the staff of Coventry University. They informed us of what we should expect this upcoming week. During this time, we were able to meet professionals specializing in not only psych, but mental health as well. Unlike the U.S., the U.K. has a clear distinction between the two.

Simulation AmbulanceNext, we were given a tour of the university’s science and health building, a facility which chooses to focus around “the patient journey.” It was fully equipped with its very own replica ambulance to allow for the most realistic simulation experience possible. This confined space seems like quite a challenge to work in, but is an essential skill for any paramedic to gain. The ambulance comes fully equipped with flashing lights, and serves to imitate an emergency journey. This gives the student the opportunity to deliver a range of emergency and urgent care. As future nurses, this simulation would serve a unique role in our interprofessional development.

Simulation House Coventry UniversityPerhaps most innovative of all was the two simulation community ‘houses’ built inside of the science and health building. We got the opportunity to tour inside one of the houses, which helps students to practice home-based support, investigations and assessments using assistive design and technology. They were also modified for handicapped accessibility. This provides the student with the unique opportunity to learn how to make specific adjustments to help their patient live independently following hospital discharge. Coventry University study abroad

Lastly, as part of the Global Leaders Programme, we attended an Intelligent Networking Workshop in which we were given the opportunity to evaluate our own understanding of networking and how to improve our approach. We did a mock networking exercise in which we interacted with the students of Coventry University. Their majors ranged from electrical engineering to hospitality, so we had the challenge of describing our profession to someone outside of our profession. It was a great opportunity to interact with locals of the university and evaluate our own networking skills.

June 24, 2018 | Author: Janie Carlson

Coventry Study AbroadI am a pre-nursing student, and one of nine students on this trip. This trip stood out to me because I am excited about learning about nursing in a different country and culture. I went to England for the first time two years ago, and that trip was with my family. Even though I have been to England, I am so excited for this trip because I’ll be having new experiences with people I’ve never met before! This is also a little nerve-wracking, but I am excited about the possibilities.

Coventry Study AbroadMy flights were Orlando to Miami, then Miami to London-Heathrow. My flight from Miami got delayed due to lightning and bad weather, to the point that I was able to watch the entirety of Black Panther before we had left the tarmac. Luckily, I was able to see this beautiful sunset from my window seat! The flight went smoothly after take-off and I got to the airport around 10:45 a.m. local time. It took a little while for me to get through border control and get to baggage claim, but once I was there, I met up with five other members of the group who had been there since 6 a.m.

Coventry Study AbroadThey left from JFK but had a long layover there and toured New York City a bit. We all connected over being incredibly tired from jet lag and long days of travel, but very excited about getting to Coventry. At 1:15 p.m., we met up with the Coventry Student Ambassadors as well as the three other members of the group, took a group picture and then we were on our way to Coventry!

One of our group members, Kim, had a very different travel experience. Her flight from Orlando to JFK was delayed due to weather, and she ended up missing her connecting flight to London because of it. She wasn’t able to get a flight until the next day at 7:30 p.m. Luckily, she has a friend who lives in New York City and was able spend the time seeing the sights with her friend!

Coventry Study AbroadIt was an unexpected trip for her, but it worked out because Kim had never been to New York before. When she finally got to London-Heathrow, she had to take the National Express—a coach bus service—to Coventry. She caught the bus just in time, and it took her to the entrance of Priory Hall, where we are staying at Coventry University. A security guard let her in, gave her a key to her dorm and she finally got to sleep from an exhausting yet exciting trip. In her own words, Kim describes the travel to Coventry: “I wouldn’t recommend missing flights and getting lost, but hey, I did get to explore the Big Apple!”

June 24, 2018 | Author: Cynthia Burnett

Eye of LondonThe Jacksonville nursing students’ travel experience was a little different from the Gainesville nursing group. We arrived three days early to the United Kingdom to spend time in London before meeting the rest of our group in the Heathrow Airport to travel to Coventry.

London mealEric, Dr. D and I left from Jacksonville airport June 19 around seven o’clock in the evening, two hours delayed from our original flight due to severe weather. We luckily made it into JFK as our connecting flight was just about to start boarding. I personally had never traveled on a flight that crossed the ocean, or was longer than three to four hours. The experience was unlike any previous flight I have had before, from the inflight meal to the sheer size of the plane that we boarded.

V&A Museum LondonOnce we arrived in London, it was Wednesday morning, thanks to the five hour jump forward. We spent our three days in London sightseeing and indulging in entirely too much food. Some of my favorite sights include Westminster Abbey, Stonehenge, Bath, the Florence Nightingale Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Fun Fact: All the museums in the South Kensington district are free admission! This includes the V&A Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Science Museum. After our mini trip concluded, we hopped on the tube and met with our Gainesville cohort at Heathrow.

June 21, 2018 | Preview

A group of University of Florida College of Nursing students will adventure across the pond for a two-week study abroad trip in England. Led by Dr. Paula Delpech and Dr. Tina D’Alessandro from the UF College of Nursing, the students will explore, compare and contrast the United States health system with the health care system of the United Kingdom. The students will take advantage of UF’s partnership with Coventry University and stay on campus in Coventry, a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England — 19 miles east-southeast of Birmingham and 95 miles northwest of Central London. The students will be blogging and sending pictures throughout the duration of the trip as they take in the enriching educational opportunity of a lifetime. Follow their adventures here!

About the UF in England Program

In the U.K., students will earn three UF GPA credits as they explore the contributions of pioneer nurses, such as Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole and Lillian Wald, to public and community health nursing and develop two service learning projects based on public health concerns in England.