Which Specialty Is Best For Working In A Third World Country

  1. Hello. Currently I am a pre-nursing student. My lifelong dream is to work as a nurse in a 3rd world country. I was able to gain 6 months experience as a CNA in Africa, but I know I can do so much more as an RN. The question is what specialty would work best for this type of environment? I was thinking Infectious Disease Nursing, but am unsure of what they specifically do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I want to have my focus correct. Also, are there specific certifications that would be of benefit?

    Thanks in advance.

    :icon_hug:
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Wow.....I would think you should have a little experience in most, if not all fields.....ID, ER, ICU, MedSurg.
  4. by   CHATSDALE
    third world countries can mean a lot of different things

    some countries esp those in sub-saharan africa aids and the problems that go along with it are prominent

    3rd world = poverty and a resulting lack of primary education.. be prepared to teach good health habits as a preventive measures

    the field is wide open yo will be a blessing wherever you go
  5. by   zenman
    Quote from EJM
    Hello. Currently I am a pre-nursing student. My lifelong dream is to work as a nurse in a 3rd world country. I was able to gain 6 months experience as a CNA in Africa, but I know I can do so much more as an RN. The question is what specialty would work best for this type of environment? I was thinking Infectious Disease Nursing, but am unsure of what they specifically do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I want to have my focus correct. Also, are there specific certifications that would be of benefit?

    Thanks in advance.

    :icon_hug:
    Probably med/surg and ER since you already have some infectious disease experience and will learn more quickly. I've got a typhoid patient now and getting ready to evac another to Bangkok in the next few hours with some kind of infectious process going on. Third world countries rock!
    Last edit by zenman on Apr 13, '08
  6. by   blueyesue
    Quote from zenman
    Probably med/surg and ER since you already have some infectious disease experience and will learn more quickly. I've got a thyphoid patient now and getting ready to evac another to Bangkok in the next few hours with some kind of infectious process going on. Third world countries rock!
    That sounds very interesting. Thanks for the input.
  7. by   subee
    Quote from EJM
    Hello. Currently I am a pre-nursing student. My lifelong dream is to work as a nurse in a 3rd world country. I was able to gain 6 months experience as a CNA in Africa, but I know I can do so much more as an RN. The question is what specialty would work best for this type of environment? I was thinking Infectious Disease Nursing, but am unsure of what they specifically do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I want to have my focus correct. Also, are there specific certifications that would be of benefit?

    Thanks in advance.

    :icon_hug:
    Columbia University in NYC has a master's program in International Nursing. Check with them.
  8. by   Katnip
    I'd suggest going through nursing school before you decide. You'll be exposed to a little of everything, then you can choose your specialty after you graduate.
  9. by   gertrudeous
    hi! good on you for wanting to work in a third world country! i myself have that goal. im in my final year of nursing in australia, and im specialising in midwifery next year, then moving over to kenya indefinitely.

    i am faced with the same dilemma as you: and my advice, would definitely be to do midwifery. The course covers all aspects of pre-natal and post-natal care, as well as how to deliver on your own, and i think that you will find that this is one of the biggest need areas.

    When i visited africa last year, i heard so many stories of women dying because they couldn't make it to hospital, or couldn't afford to. stories like that break your heart.

    It is true, that you really need to have a broad knowledge in ALL areas, as you could quite easily encounter just about anything! while it would be nice to be able to specialise in EVERYTHING: ER, OR, paramedic, Medical etc, i think there is a fine balance between spending too much time specialising, and using that time you would have used up, to specialise in just 1 or 2 areas, and going to the country of your choice.

    I have heard that there are courses out there that run over the 3 month year end break, which are specifically designed for persons going to give medical help in 3rd world countries.

    The book "where there is no doctor' by david werner (look it up on amazon) is very useful- it is very easy to understand, and even shows you how to make a plaster cast from boiling the bark from a tree!

    if you have any questions please dont hesitate to contact me.

    good luck!
  10. by   Djuna
    http://www.medicstravel.co.uk/NGOs/n...anisations.htm

    This is a list of organisations who provide healthcare in developing and war torn countries.

    You need a minimum of 1 year nursing experience to either work or be a volunteer and there is no particular area of nursing that would provide all the experience required. Some of the organisation such as Medecins sans Frontieres require a lot more than one year post grad experience.

    Even doing a post graduate paper in epidemiology, tropical medicine or public health nursing is inadequate in itself. You would need to combine it with experience.

    It's a great goal to be working towards in your future and all the best.

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