Why pursue an internship experience at Accelerate?

Arianna, sufferer of lymphoedema

My background

I am from Switzerland and have been a nurse for several years in primary care. I primarily care for the older sector of the population who have issues such as leg ulcers and swelling. I am currently in the UK because I was offered the opportunity to gain experience abroad as part of a post-masters fellowship.

Why I chose to come to England

I chose to come to England because of this area’s specialised and advanced services. I aim to become an advanced clinical practice nurse in wound care and issues related to lymphedema. Additionally, I wanted to learn advanced management techniques for these types of patients to continue an existing project that I am involved with around creating an advanced in Switzerland.

Even before I left, I had high expectations because I had feedback from an acquaintance who had worked here and learned so much. My expectations were exceeded, and now I will elaborate on it.

My experience in England and at Accelerate

One aspect that struck me was the extreme organization and welcoming attitude towards students. English not being my native language, I felt welcomed from the very beginning, and the professionals always tried to ensure I understood them as best as possible.

From day one, I was amazed by the number of passionate, highly specialized, and advanced professionals here. Every day for 8 weeks, I appreciated the kindness, attention to detail, and focus on putting the patient at the centre.

Before coming here, I was asked if I would be bored just observing for 8 weeks. My answer is an emphatic no. Every day was different; I was engaged in multiple activities with various professionals at many locations (main office, field offices, and patients’ homes). Every day, I learned new things about caring for patients with lymphedema, lipoedema, and limb ulcers.

Specifically, I learned how patients are managed from initial assessment to reviews to discharge. This included holistic management, encompassing therapeutic education for optimal health maintenance at home.

It was crucial for me to have had the opportunity to visit patients’ homes as it closely resembled the work I do in my country. Another enriching aspect of my experience was participating in meetings, multidisciplinary discussions, meetings with brand representatives, and conferences in the field. All these activities were focused on shared, patient-centred care and based on the latest scientific evidence.

I felt honoured to contribute to research by assisting a colleague with data collection for a doctoral study.

I could spend several days recounting all I learned, and my friends and parents could witness my enthusiasm daily when I shared stories of my experiences over the phone.

Honestly, this experience in London with Accelerate has changed me personally and professionally for the better. Despite being far from home, the team made me feel welcome and part of a big family. I will always remember the smiles of the patients and professionals.

What I will take away from my experience

What I take away from this experience is the knowledge and skills I have gained, which I will strive to put into practice,  it has been a varied and enriching experience. This internship was much more than schooling because it allowed me to study during working hours and see theory applied. Additionally, practitioners often involved me in clinical discussions, allowing me to develop my critical thinking and apply my knowledge.

Because of this experience, I have decided to pursue a similar path with my patients and heavily rely on the advice I received at Accelerate.

A big thank you!

I am deeply grateful to Lucy and Fran for organizing a comprehensive, varied program for me, and above all, I thank the entire team for always being willing to share their thoughts with me.

I hope the Accelerate Clinic continues to maintain its excellence, and I wish all professionals the opportunity to have an enriching, inspiring, motivating, and heart-warming experience like mine.

I hope others in my country can also benefit from such experiences:

Together, we can.

I extend my sincere gratitude to Georgina for giving me this opportunity and thank all the leaders and various teams for welcoming me as one of their own and providing me with an experience that I will cherish forever in my fondest memories.

Arianna Borra