Today, we finished our last day in Inverness. After a little bit of breakfast, we headed off to the Health Science Center for one last presentation (and a whole bunch of snacks). The presenter discussed with us the growing dementia epidemic in Scotland and how we could be “Dementia Smart” in our own practices. Overall, she was very informative and gave us a lot of quality information that’s applicable to our role as future nurses in an aging population.
Fully stocked up on snacks, we hit the road for one last time! While most of us took this opportunity for a nice three hour nap, a few stayed awake to enjoy the countryside scenery.
A few hours in we stopped in St. Andrews to visit the golf courses and pro shop there. After a half an hour of shopping and waiting for players to play through the iconic bridge hole, we finally got one last group picture.
An hour later, we finally arrived back at Stirling & patiently waited for some delicious food before calling it an early night. This is us signing off for the last time as we have to be up and ready for the airport at 4:30 am! We’ve enjoyed our experiences here & wouldn’t trade them for anything! Go Bulls!
Today was sadly our last clinical rotation here in Inverness. Through our community rotations here in Scotland we’ve gathered a much stronger grasp about NHS Scotland & the national shifting the balance of care (from acute hospital settings to community care) initiative. It’s such a comprehensive, cohesive, patient centered system unlike anything we have in the US. We are so grateful to have experienced this clinical and cultural opportunity here in Scotland.
Just like every other day, after clinicals we went to explore some more of the country. Today we took a journey to Fairy Glen in Rosemarkie, a natural gem of the Highlands. We stopped at the car park and followed a 2 km footpath through the woods & up a creek to reach a handful of waterfalls at the end of the path. When we reached the falls, there was a fallen tree limb in the pool where hundreds of visitors before us had left monetary offerings to the fairies in forms of pounds and pence. After a few photographs and leaving an offering ourselves we headed back to the car park to start the next leg of our daily adventure. Next stop: The Friary. The Friary is a restaurant in a quaint town that serves coffee, fish & chips, & ice cream, but the real hidden treasure is the weekly band of performers that come to the car park. We witnessed a band of adults & children playing the bag pipes and a young girls performing traditional dances. It was a really enjoyable, cultural experience.
Our night was still not over yet! We then made the trip to downtown Inverness where we walked around the city & arrived at Hootananny’s, a local pub with live music.
Today was our first day at our community health placements here in Inverness. A handful of us were with District Nurses, a couple with midwives, one with a health visitor, & one in the children’s ward at Raigmore Hospital. The community health system in the UK is very different from the US in that all care is free at the time of service, meaning that all community nurses who work under the NHS deliver the care at no charge to the patient, regardless of the times a week they visit, the supplies needed, and the time spent at the household.
After our time out in the community, we came back to prepare ourselves for the afternoon ahead with a quick nap. The rain tried to damper our afternoon, so we took a detour to Urquhart Castle to enjoy the view even though the castle was closed as it was after hours. From the castle, we took the scenic route around Loch Ness to arrive at the Dores Inn which sits on the shore of Loch Ness. Obviously, we needed a photo shoot when we got there, so we quickly took some pictures and escaped the chilly wind inside the Inn.
At the Inn we warmed up with a few beverages & headed back out to explore some more natural wonders on the edge of the Loch. About 10 miles down the road lies the Falls of Foyer, a beautiful system of waterfalls. As it was nearing dark, we could only follow one pathway to the waterfalls, so we chose to hike down 300 meters to the viewpoint to the Upper Falls. Another quick photoshoot & we were on our way back to base at Raigmore. Overall, we had a great day not only experiencing the community of Inverness through our clinical experiences but also the beautiful nature that surrounds it.
Today the 7 of us spent the first portion of the day in Raigmore Hospital in Inverness listening to several guest speakers talk about their professions. We heard about district nursing in the highlands and how it is different from Stirling due to the rural aspect of the area. Another interesting thing we heard about that is very different from nursing in America is community health midwifery! The guest speaker talked to us about different ways and settings women can give birth in.
After taking a quick tour of the hospital and student area, we traveled to Fort George. The group of us wandered around the fort on our own learning about Scottish history in regards to wartime. From there we went towards the battlegrounds in which the last attempt for Scottish independence what fought. The landscape was very beautiful and we took a lot of good pictures!
For dinner Mr. McGhee took us to a place called Pizza Express, which was delicious! It was nothing like most of the pizza places us college students are used to (AKA Pizza Hut, Dominos, etc.).
We cannot wait for our first community placement clinical tomorrow!
Today was our final morning at the University of Stirling until our 4 am wakeup call for the airport next Saturday. After a quick breakfast and some last minute packing, Mr. McGhee picked us up in his fancy Mercedes. Before departing Stirling, we stopped at a local gem called Stephen’s where mince pies, pastries, and fresh rolls were plentiful. Then, it was onwards to Inverness!
—-many naps occurred during this time period—
We were really hoping to see some (fuzzy) highland cows, but instead we sipped on some local whisky at the Dalwhinnie Distillery and purchased a few souvenirs for our families back at home. After the distillery, we continued our journey to Inverness where we had dinner at a local eatery called The Fluke which, strangely, offered a largely American based menu. After a long day of traveling, we sluggishly unpacked our luggage & are currently hoping to catch a few Z’s soon!
Today we were finally able to sleep in for a little. We visited the Stirling Castle after lunch and had fun learning about the history of the location as well as exploring the ornate interior. Afterwards we took an hour train ride to the city of Glasgow, where we did some shopping and sight seeing. This city was more cosmopolitan than Edinburgh, and we were entertained by the many shops, parks, and pedestrians around us. We were especially delighted to come across a Pound World store, which is the Scottish equivalent to the American Dollar Tree store. Basically, it was amazing and we all let with bags full of candy.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our first week here in Scotland and are grateful for the memories we have made. We look forward to what experiences our second week in Inverness has to bring!