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SIT AND CHAT with Hanna Jegina: Placement in West Wales

Updated: Jan 21

Today we sat down with Year 4 medical student, Hanna Jegina, to answer some questions about what it is like to go on an away placement.

 

Thank you for your time today Hanna! To begin with, where was your away placement and what block were you on?


I was based in Glangwilli Hospital in Camarthen for 6 weeks and Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest for 2 weeks. I was on my Woman, Child and Family block so I did 4 weeks of paediatrics, followed by 4 weeks of obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G).


What are the hospitals in West Wales like?


Everyone in Glangwilli Hospital and Withybush Hospital were super friendly and approachable! The hospitals are small in comparison to UHW but there are fewer students so there are plenty of opportunities. Also, the teaching in West Wales for both paediatrics and O&G was really good and regular.



When it comes to the weekends, what is there to do in West Wales?


West Wales is beautiful! Camarthen has a town centre with lots of cute coffee shops and brunch spots. There is a cinema too where I ended up watching the new James Bond movie. At the end of the block, I went to St David’s (the smallest city in the UK) and visited the cathedral there. I also went to the Blue Lagoon where I didn’t see any seals but the view was amazing! I also recommend going to Tenby and visiting one of the beaches.



Noted! The pretty views must have been your favourite part of the away placement.


Actually, my favourite part was making new friendships with people in my year. But, my second favourite part was definitely going to Tenby after a day of placement to watch the sunset.


Did you ever miss being in Cardiff?


Carmarthen isn’t too far from Cardiff so you can drive back on the weekends or take the train back. I only went back once actually. I didn’t miss Cardiff that much but I did towards the end (mostly missing all my favourite restaurants in Cardiff).


With that, would you say that having a car is essential?


To be honest, a car is extremely helpful for any away placement. I do not have a car so I’m very thankful to all the students who kindly offered to give me lifts. In terms of getting to Carmarthen, there is a train from Cardiff Central and the journey is under 2 hours. There is a direct train to Haverfordwest too. I managed to do grocery shopping, go to the town centre and go to church on the weekend using the buses or by walking in Carmarthen. There was a retail park right next to Withybush Hospital so I was sorted. If you do want to see some (not all) of the beautiful places in West Wales you need a car but some of the beaches are a bus ride away!



With grocery shopping and other types of retail stores, were they far from the place you stayed?


In Camarthen, I was a bus ride/long walk/very quick car journey away from the Lidl. Everyone was lovely and helped people out with grocery shopping if they had a car but there is a bus outside Glangwilli hospital that takes you outside Lidl so you have options.

In Haverfordwest, there was an M&S, Boots and a big Home Bargains a two-minute walk away from the accommodation so it was great.


So is there anything that you have to bring to an away placement?


Double-check with the staff (I sent an email before I went to West Wales) but usually, they have pots, plates, cutlery and mugs in the accommodation. I had all the kitchenware I needed in Glangwili and Withybush. They also had bedsheets but I would just double check before packing!


Speaking of accommodation, what are they like?


You’ll probably get very mixed reviews about the accommodation but I really liked the accommodation in Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen; my flat was always clean and quite spacious. The accommodation in Withybush was decent. The showers and toilets are shared between 2 or 3 people and the kitchens have everything you need to cook.


That's it for today, thank you once again for your time!

 

If there is any topic you want to know more about in medical school, don't be afraid to comment below or DM us on our socials as there are more interviews to come!

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