Nurse Volunteer

In our current economic state, with budget cuts being made left and right, many new nursing graduates are struggling to find jobs that fulfill them. As the baby boomers begin to hit retirement age, a plethora of jobs will open up, especially in specialty fields. But instead of waiting around for that time jobless or in a job that you don’t love, why not consider volunteering as a nurse? If you want to stay in your current location, there are plenty of local free clinics that would gladly take your help. As a volunteer nurse, you could be covering any number of tasks, but generally they include vitals, patient interviews, drawing blood, giving flu shots, and of course reassuring all the patients.

If you are looking for a bit more of an adventure, consider volunteer nursing abroad. There are countless different programs and websites to assist you with this process, from Nurses Without Borders to One Nurse at a Time. Whatever service you decide to use, or if you decide to try to find a place on your own, think hard about the location first. Will you be able to deal with no running water or blood sucking mosquitos or the absence of protein for your determined length of stay? Will you be comfortable being the only person who speaks English or the only person of a certain color or the only woman or man? Are you willing to truly experience another culture?

One nurse speaks of her experience in Belize. She spent the entire first month turning a small corner of a dilapidated building into a clinic where she could see women patients. Then for the rest of her time there, she saw patients among geckos crawling across the ceiling, termites making new trails, and dead bugs that accumulated on the floor. She fought mosquitos the size of small rodents and had a stand off with an opossum trying to make a nest inside the clinic. In many countries, be sure you’re ready to deal with the wildlife as well as the people.

You could also chose to volunteer in a more organized, civilized setting – something like the Africa Mercy Ship. Owned by Mercy Ships, this particular converted ferry boat is docked in different areas all over Africa. This ship provides medical attention to many of the poorest people in the world. It has a large bed ward, an intensive care unit and 6 operating rooms. On board the ship, volunteers from 30+ countries perform surgeries to fix broken bones, to give patients their sight back, to repair cleft palates and remove tumors. Nurses are right there in the action, often doing more than they would in a normal hospital setting, and obtaining experience at a very accelerated rate.

As a nurse volunteer, you can literally go anywhere – India, Australia, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea. Some programs offer stipends or financial assistance, others ask the volunteer nurses to come up with travel expenses on their own. Wherever you decide to go, and however you decide to get there, you are bound to make a difference in countless lives, including your own.
Sabung Ayam
Papua New Guinea: A Culture of Violence [WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES] | The New York Times

In the South Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea, one of the world’s most violent places, nearly every woman has experienced some form of domestic abuse.

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Papua New Guinea: A Culture of Violence [WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES] | The New York Times

Sabung Ayam