Saturday, August 22, 2009

Trip to Bern

Earlier this week, the US students from my class were invited to a day in Bern, Switzerland. We attended a presentation about the Swiss health care system given by the Federal Office of the Public Health, and then enjoyed a tour of Bern. I was really impressed by the presentation and I hope to bring a few ideas to my colleagues in the U.S. The tour of Bern was one of my favorite experiences on this trip. We went through the city's cobblestone streets on scooters. The scenery was gorgeous; we sailed by ornate cathedral-style churches, traditional Swiss buildings neatly framed by brightly colored flowers, and a busy town square crowded with cafes and shops. We ended the evening with dinner in a traditional Swiss restaurant overlooking the city.

In addition to learning about the Swiss system from the public health perspective, I had the opportunity to tour a hospital in Basel on the following day. I wasn't surprised to find that it was very similar to an academic hospital in the U.S., with only very minor differences with the legal aspects of nursing practice. Many of the nurses were eager to meet us and to ask questions about nursing in the U.S. My course in Basal has been flying by and there is so much more that I want to see. Even though my time here is limited, I will be leaving with a long list of contact info for my new international colleagues.

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