Thinking of volunteering abroad on medical missions? Volunteer medical programs can be quite eye-opening and also provide great educational experiences for those involved, whether they are current medical professionals or students who are still in medical school. While choosing a great volunteering abroad placement program can go a long way, there are plenty of other ways in which you can maximize your experience as a medical volunteer. These include the following:
Respect the local medical staff
The local medical staff faces a myriad of challenges and has to grapple with various enormous challenges with limited resources. Respect and courtesy for the local staff go a long way in making your volunteer work as smooth as possible.
You can only do so much
As a volunteer in many developing countries, you will be seeing people dying from seemingly curable diseases such as malaria or even nutritional diseases. One of the best learning experiences that you will come to terms with is that you can only do your little part and you cannot save the planet.
You will most likely undertake diverse roles
If you are a qualified medical professional, you must be prepared to undertake many roles since many of the hospitals in poor communities are overstretched. Based on your level of expertise and experience, you might find yourself shifting from surgery to bandaging or even administering intravenous fluids.
Learn to work as a team
There may be a difference in the work culture but you have to learn how to work as a team and learn from one another. Volunteering is about opening up to new cultures so you need to be quite open-minded about the culture that you are immersing yourself in.
Work on your motives and goals
It will be easier for you to make an impact as medical volunteers if you work on your motive and goals beforehand. That way, you can identify areas where you can easily immerse yourself in and make a difference.
Keep your eyes open
Observe and ask a lot of questions. That is the best way you are going to learn how things work in the place and how you can apply your skills and make some useful interventions. As a medical professional, you will have to devote a large part of your time and skills in to patients in order to understand their problems, offer them advice and even knowledge and skills. This is especially so if they are suffering from conditions that they can also self-manage such as nutritional deficiencies.
Choosing the right medical volunteer program can make things a lot easier for you since these generally come with a degree of support during the volunteer program. You can also choose from varied placement opportunities that help you design your volunteer experiences in a way that will be more fulfilling. Involvement Volunteers International is one of those volunteering abroad opportunities that can offer you lots of great opportunities for medical volunteers in various countries around the world ranging from Fiji to India. You can check out some of the programs that they offer here http://www.volunteering.org.au/volunteer-abroad-popular-programs.html