Reflections by Shihaam Barnes (2017-03-14, 21:34)

We ended our week with an open day at Karel de Grote Hogeschool,  with a quick tour through the open day at the nursing department. It was really educational and fun at the same time. Our first stop was at the geriatric care section, in front of us laid a mannequin and we were given a scenario to determine the patient’s risk of falling. We found the scenario quite creative. I then had the opportunity to experience one of the geriatric devices that give nurses an idea of how elderly patient’s feel; it was a geriatric suit. It felt extremely uncomfortable my back was curved and could not be straighten out, my left arm and elbow was out in a position that I was not able to mobilize it (I was constricted). I had a weight bag on my right thigh and left ankle. In the scenario I had a broken arm so my arm was in a sling bandage, I had gloves on as some elderly patients loose the sense of touch, and I had glasses on to demonstrate poor vision. I was then given a walking frame and was given the instructions to walk to the door and to attempt to open the door.  I found it difficult to grip on the walking frame and difficulty in walking.  At times I was not sure in what direction I was going as my vision was poor, you also forget that your joints are not that loose and constricted when I attempted to use them.  It was really a innovative method  experiencing how a elderly client is feeling. Many more activities were done with the device,they did a great job in implementing such a device.

We then went around to home base care for elderly section where one of my colleagues went for a hearing test and eye test. Then we passed by the hand hygiene expo, here we used disinfectant to wash our hands after that we displayed our hands under a machine and we could see all the areas we missed during the washing of the hands. Some of these devises are currently being used in the hospitals in Belgium. I really had a blast during our short time at the open day, it was then time for us to leave to Ghent for the weekend.

We were accompanied by another KdG lecturer(Bea Van Robaeys) and she was to host me and my colleagues for the weekend in Ghent. She is an extremely sweet and caring woman with a beautiful and energetic family. They made our time in Ghent unforgettable. We took a train to Antwerp central station it was a wonderful experience, it is one of the most beautiful and sophisticated train stations that I ever saw. We travelled by train from Antwerp to Ghent. Ghent has an extremely magnificent city with various historical sites, with medieval architecture it is so beautiful (it felt like I was in a movie at the time. We were fortunate with beautiful weather during this weekend and the city centre was quite busy and filled with a lot of people.

We visited the Gravensteen (Castle in Ghent), the only thing that was missing was a glamorous gown. It was so beautiful the architecture, the hall ways, the never ending stairs, the view that we could see on top of the castle, we also saw the guillotine and torture devices and dungeons. We also saw the Belfort, one of the historic buildings in Ghent, with a giant dragon on the tip of the roof of the building and the view was admirable. We also visited a few of the many churches in Ghent and once again it was beautiful and breathtaking architecture (Sint-Baafskathedraal). We pass by many historical buildings and it was all captivating(Marriot hotel and the smallest house in Ghent. The best part was experiencing Ghent at night,it was extremely beautiful with all the lights of the building on, restaurants candle lights on. During the night walk we also viewed Geeraard de Duivelsteen(The Castle of Gerald the Devil).

The harbour/riverside (Graslei) of the city centre was packed with people during the weekend as it was amazingly sunny weather, and it is a very pleasant scenery to be at. We took a boat ride along the riverside, and it has the mos scenic places one can view, it was gorgeous the sun shinning on the water, viewing all the historical building from water level, floating in to river valleys and seeing buildings one cant see when walking, we also were gifted with a beautiful sunset in Ghent during our boat ride.

We also had the opportunity to visit STAM (stadsmuseum) museum in Ghent, there was a dragon exhibition currently on display, it was a short tour though it was fun. We then explored the rest of the museum and it was fascinating as it displays the past of Ghent all it’s history in writing and digital form of story telling. We also saw the amazing satellite images that allows us to view Ghent in different eras. There was this amazing section in the museum as well of the ‘Bijloke Abbey’ aerial photo on a glass floor and also legos that allow the people visiting the museum to build whatever they desire that resembles the city Ghent. I truly had an enjoyable time in Ghent with my colleagues and Bea and her family! it was relaxing.

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