Katie's experience learning to care for refugees is write stuff for magazine


An Adult Nursing student's account of learning to care for refugees in Berlin has been published in a well-respected national journal.

Katie Dutton, a first year at De Montfort University (DMU) Leicester, travelled to the German capital for a five-day academic-led trip focusing on the health of refugees and asylum seekers - an area she knew little about.

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In the Nursing Standard article Katie explains how meeting Mahmoud, and listening to the story of why he and his wife fled Syria, has had a profound effect on her understanding of patient-centred care.

She wrote: "In the south of Berlin we visited a shelter where we met Mahmoud who had been a professor in Syria and had been imprisoned and tortured for not following the views of the government and refusing to work with it.

"He was very underweight when he arrived in Berlin, but with paid employment, support and access to traditional food from home, he was able to get to a healthy weight."

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Katie with fellow students and Mahmoud

Katie, along with a group of more than 40 DMU Nursing students, heard that the health system was one of the main reasons he chose to go to Germany.

"All refugees are given health insurance and treated the same as German citizens when receiving care," said the 26-year-old from Cambridge.


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The #DMUglobal trip - which included more than 800 students and staff from nearly 35 different courses all following itineraries aimed at enriching their studies - has left a lasting impression on Katie.

"I realised how little we truly know about others and their experiences," she wrote.

"Now, when on clinical placements, I always try to find time to sit with patients and ask them how they are feeling, what their life is like outside of the care setting, and what their lives were like before their illness."

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The "invaluable" trip has influenced her learning in many ways. Katie added: "Stress and psychological trauma can have a significant effect on health and wellbeing. But talking about it and knowing that people care and are there to help can make all the difference.

"My capacity to treat people equally and with the same level of compassion has also increased. I do not accept things at face value and ensure that care is always patient-centred.

"Most of all, I have learnt that nothing good ever comes from labelling people - underneath our beliefs, religions or disabilities we are all the same."

Posted on Wednesday 6th September 2017

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