Week 1 Wrap-up

Y’all, blogging is exhausting. I had set out with the intention of blogging twice weekly, but we’ll call it a win if you get one per week.

This week, Norah and I started our internship at Haukeland universitesjukehus (university hospital).

Side note: a lot of words that we would separate in English are found together in the Norwegian language. For example, physical therapy student is fysioterapistudent. Thus far, I think the longest word I have seen is well over 20 letters.

Okay, back to the hospital. So no matter what department or profession you are in, EVERYONE wears white scrubs. I know what you’re thinking, Sam, but aren’t they really see through? No, they actually keep your modesty pretty well. And I lied, not everyone wears just white scrubs. Doctors wear a long white coat over their white scrubs and surgeons have green scrubs. Other than that it really is a toss-up to know who is who until you are close enough to read someone’s name tag. I think my favorite part about these scrubs is the vending machine-like thing that dispenses them.

The system is very convenient, but sometimes, like Lotte found this week, you might get ones with very large holes in the armpit that show every time you lift your arm. When that does occur they have a special bin to designate them as damaged. After one gathers their scrubs, it’s off to the locker room to change and then head up to the fysio offices.

Guys, I should I have studied PT in Norway. They only work 8-3, or 15:00! The first couple of hours in the morning serve to give you time to catch up on notes, prepare your plan for the day, and drink coffee, lots and lots of coffee. Then you are off to see patients, converse with nurses and doctors, take your lunch at about 12:30, see a couple more patients or run a group therapy session, do some more documenting and then head for the locker room around 3ish. Imagine, I have time to take a nap after work, workout and still twiddle my thumbs before going to bed. The girls inform me that since PT is such a physically demanding profession they are given this schedule. To think, someone out there has considered their quality of life.

The atmosphere in the hospital is so relaxed, I mean we can get around on scooters for goodness sake! It is not unusual for a doctor to zip passed you as you walk down the corridor.

Here I am wishing I had brought my Razor.

The staff is all very friendly and I have felt nothing but welcomed. They have been great in that they will speak to me in English, giving Lotte a break from translating. The only time they do not is when we are having lunch all together. Then, I play a little bit of charades, watching everyone’s gestures and trying to pick out words that sound familiar. Like the other day Donald Trump was a topic of conversation and I could tell by the motions another student was making over his head he was talking about how goregous and natural his hair is.


Lotte and I have been lucky in that two patients this week spoke English. In terms of the patients in general, it seems that many do understand English and probably speak it, but might not feel like they do well enough, so choose not to. So Lotte has been great in that she will give me a synopsis of the conversation and then we can discuss the patient afterward. Who knows guys, maybe 3 months will be enough time to become bilingual! Ha. Probably not.

This also brings up the point that all the documentation has to be in Norwegian. Again, sorry Lotte. However, I do try to help when I can, like getting coffee, for instance, or providing distractions like talking about skikiting ( I really want to go!!). While I do feel bad that she has more work to do, we get along so well and have fun together so I hope she doesn’t hate me entirely for adding a little bit to her load (Love ya, Lotte!).

The oh-so wonderul Lotte showing off the walker/Rollator we use here.

Like right now as she is hard at work typing up discharge notes and calling the PTs in the municipality, informing them of the patients that they will be receiving, I am writing this post. I am here though to bounce ideas off and discuss what might be good for the PTs to know or what further treatment the patients need.

Hard at work while I hardly work. 😉

This post was interrupted by work. *wink wink* But now that it’s the weekend, Lotte is hopefully now off to her cabin in the mountains with some friends, as long as hurricane Thor permits. I promise I am not making up the name of the storm. While she is off doing that I am waiting to have dinner with my buddy. Before we arrived in Norway, Norah and I had the option to be part of the buddy program that pairs you with a student at the university, not that we necessarily needed more guidance getting around Bergen since we already knew some PT students, but who doesn’t like more friends? Ingrid, my buddy, is a sports major and likes to play soccer. Go figure they would pair me with her (we let them know our interests on the application form). She says she is making a pancake like thing that will be eaten with jam and cheese. Yum, yum, yum. More on that later!

I think I’ll cut the post off here, it’s getting fairly long. Stay tuned for one in a few days reporting on dinner with my buddy, dinner last night, Thursday, (nom, nom,nom) with another friend, Thale (Side note: “e” at the end of a name is more of an “ah” sound), and whatever weekend shenanigans Norah and I get into.




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