Lessons from a placement in Peru

02 June 2016
Volume 24 · Issue 6


At the end of her pre-registration midwifery programme, Heidi Stone undertook a voluntary observational placement in Peru, to learn about birth in a developing country.

In February this year, I had the privilege of spending my final transition period as a third-year student midwife on a 3-week voluntary observational placement in a 104-year-old government-run hospital in the city of Arequipa, Peru. Experiencing how a maternity system works in a developing country compared to the UK was something I had wanted to do since I had started my training and now that I was almost at the end of my degree, it seemed the ideal time to push myself out of my comfort zone and experience a completely different birth setting.

Another soon-to-be-qualified midwife and I decided to travel together, and after booking through a specialist company we arrived in Arequipa and settled into our home, shared by a further eight medical students from around the world. This collaboration of different nationalities and disciplines allowed us to compare how the health-care system in Peru differed from our own respective corners of the world, as well as sharing the experience as a group.

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