What Can a Nurse do without...?

  1. Hello,

    I am currently looking into nursing and I am wanting to understand what a nurse can do to help peoplein Overseas type settings, such as if there isnt any healthcare people around, or people cant afford to travel to or to pay to go to a hopsital how much can a nurse help those people, what kind of things would a nurse be able to treat or help with without a hospital and doctor or so on, and technology and such. What can a nurse do without tons of medical supplies available or such? Would a nursing education allow one to help in such environments/situations?

    thank you - jason
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    clean water
  4. by   chaosRN
    I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but there are medical missions out there who go to underdeveloped places, set up clinic and such.
  5. by   JBirdAngel
    Hello,

    thank you for the reply, and i do realize that, but im wondering more about when not being part of a specifically medical mission, like if a nurse was by themselves in these types of places what care could they provide to people?

    thanks - jason
  6. by   damarystx
    I am not understanding competely, are you planning on traveling to areas by yourself with no organizational support? If that is the case I would say maybe you want to get some solid experience under your belt and then maybe try with an organization before striking out on your own, in different regions there are different illnesses, diseases, parasites etc. that you would probably need to be well versed in to be able to help people and to protect yourself and organizations that specialize in this type of thing would be able to provide you with support and training for your safety and the safety of the people you are seeing. And they would know specifically what types of things you should carry with you and what you could do to help people.
  7. by   ukstudent
    Not trying to stop you, but please understand just how dangerous your plan is. Even with an organization behind them 2 nurses have been condemed to death in Libia. Going around giving medical care in under developed countries, without a license to work in that country is going to get you in serious trouble.
  8. by   JBirdAngel
    Hello,

    thanks for the replies and the info. I didnt even think about licensing in other countries, so thanks for bringing that up, although i think i read something that made it sound like it wasnt htat difficult to do? (of course if i was actually a nurse at htat point)

    i understand that organizations and medical missions exist, and that is awesome, and its entirely possible that if i became a nurse i would do some of those, but i may also do things where providing healthcare is not the primary focus, but a secondary focus, so it is in this setting where i would be "alone" not at a hopsital with doctors and so on that i am wondering if the training involved with becoming a nurse would provide me with skills to help in that situation, if so, what all would i be able to help with?

    not certain of what or when im going to do, but looking into the options and everything.

    thanks - jason
  9. by   blueberrybon
    I guess I'm not exactly sure of what you're looking for, but here is an example of the medical mission I'm going on soon:

    There is a group of approximately 50 volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists, and dental assistants that go to the Dominican Republic twice per year. Each trip they set up and run the doctor/dentist clinic which sees around 850 patients in a short week. The other 50 weeks out of the year the people of this particular village have to fend for themselves, or travel a long distance for medical help. So there is no nursing help for these people except for the help that comes in twice per year.

    Am I answering the question at all?

    Blue
  10. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    I've been a part of a couple of oversea's medical volunteer trips, and what I've mostly found from my own experience, and from others is that education makes the difference.

    Manpower isn't so much an issue, b/c the people are there to staff clinics. The problem is the education systems are not in place to educate the staff in these clinics to provide the best care that they can. As a nurse going to a third world/developing country, you can make a big difference by bringing your knowledge of health infrastructure, new practices, education, preventative education, school lessons, etc.

    While I was able to help the staff at the clinics I worked in by being a knowledgeable warm body, I was best put to use educating wherever I could. Sure, there was nothing I could teach the midwives about delivering babies, as they knew a ton about that and had done it a thousand times a year....but I educated them about changing the needle from mom to baby when giving meds/drugs. I was able to provide HIV/AIDS education to school children, who said that they believed what I said because I was an outsider.....not a local spreading myths to stop kids from having sex. In Asia I helped a local health care provider begin to set up a micro-insurance project in his local community. One of the clinic's I worked in only had one health care provider who worked 6 days a week, all year x 20 yrs, and couldn't take a day off b/c there was no one to take his place. He said he appreciated that I was able to do a majority of his work at the clinic for several weeks, while he sat, observed, and rested his feet & knees.

    There are so many things nurses/nursing students can do to help, while also getting an amazing educational experience from it. If you want to learn more about what nurses can do overseas look into Doctors Without Borders or Medicines Sans Frontieres. Navigate through those websites and you'll find testimonials/stories from Nurses working in the field.
  11. by   JBirdAngel
    Hello,

    Thank you for the replies.

    I mainly meant outside of medical missions like if i was not a part of a medical group or at a clinic, could i diagnose and treat and help people with anything? (those may not be proper terms)

    I still dont know much about nursing, at this point it seems like nurses mostly monitor and record patient well being so that it can be known if the current treatment or whatnot is working properly or as efficient as it can, outside of giving vacines im not sure what a nurse can do in a medical mission.

    thanks for brining up the point about education as i didnt think about that. you say there are people there but lacking some knowledge, but also give an example of people lacking, i also thought the nursing shortage is world wide? is the lack of knowledge what makes it world wide, so that its there are willing people but not as well educated as could be?

    thanks for the info! - jason
  12. by   Daytonite
    jason. . .i have been reading some of your posts and see that you have a great many questions about nursing and what you will be able to do with a career in nursing. you also have some concerns about whether or not you'll be able to actually handle the hands on work. i'm listing some websites that you should check out to get information on what nurses do and how to become a nurse. there is one member on the allnurses forums who specifically helps and addresses questions of nurses in other countries and problems they face. her name is suzanne4 and she is the moderator of the international nursing forum. http://allnurses.com/forums/f75/ you might want to post your questions about overseas nursing on her forum as well as check out the sticky threads at the top of the listings of this forum. there is a great deal of information there. she's very good about answering posts or you could even send her a pm (private message). you must also realize that each country controls the practice of the professionals in its sovereign territories. nurses, per se, do not practice independently in all things. they often work under the direction of physicians. even when they are doing some independent nursing functions, they still often need to enlist the services of a physician to help them achieve certain goals with patients. i wasn't sure that you understood that.

    http://www.collegeboard.com/student/...ers/45263.html - "ten questions to ask yourself" about a career and if it might be right for you

    http://nursing.about.com/od/becomean...oreveryone.htm - "nursing is not for everyone". this is a very down to earth and honest article that broadly discusses what a nurse does and what you can expect on the job as a nurse.

    http://nursing.about.com/od/becomean...eforenurse.htm - "before you decide to become a nurse". things to consider about being a nurse. lots of links to information about what skills you need to become a nurse. and, what if you're really bad at math and science is discussed.

    http://www.discovernursing.com/

    http://www.awhonn.org/ncc/student.htm - a very nice information page from the association of women's health, obstetric and neonatal nurses on being a nurse, salary you can expect to make, types of nursing degrees, nursing specialties with weblinks to some of the major professional nursing organizations, the nurse reinvestment act, and some information and how to search for scholarships and financial aid.

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f198/hel...es-135816.html - an older thread that has lists of nursing related books for those who want some inspiration about the career of nursing
  13. by   lauralassie
    Thats a lot to answer on this sort of forum. Perhaps you would be better suited to talk with someone from a mission organization who could give you a better understanding.

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