Today, I started my placement at Ulster Hospital. I arrived a wee bit early, so I had time to catch up on emails and review my placement information for the next two weeks.
I have the opportunity to work with the Communications Officer for Press & Media. Over cups of coffee, she shared key information about the mission of the healthcare in Northern Ireland, the differences in national vs. private care and the trusts and locations. We delved into communications and her role for the Southeastern Trust. Aside from business, we talked about various foods I need to try and places I need to go in Northern Ireland. Within the first hour, I was loving everything and soaking up information like a sponge! The intricate nature of healthcare, specifically in Northern Ireland, is fascinating, especially as it relates to internal, external and risk communication.
I had the opportunity to develop a press release and send it out to a few papers and also posted it on social media.
I explored the general website, watched informative videos made by the trust and learned specifically about the Maternity Led Unit in Downpatrick, Ireland. The maternal care is a fascinating aspect to me, especially with my work related to The Guiding Star Project. The acceptance of midwifes and doulas is difficult in Northern Ireland, just as it is in the states. The struggle is in building trust and making sure that individuals, especially soon-to-be mothers & partners, understand the benefits of midwifery, as well as the available care necessary should any emergencies or risks be involved during labor.
My mentor introduced me to Tayto Cheese & Onion potato chips & Cadbury chocolate. America, why can’t you make food without high fructose corn syrup and use less crap ingredients? These goodies seriously make me think about moving… Kidding (???)! I’ll just have boxes of this delicious goodness shipped to my house stateside.