I have recently started my pediatrics rotation and have fallen in love. We had someone come talk to us earlier in the week about Medical Missions, and I am very interested. I was wondering if anyone went on a medical mission while still in nursing school and which organization they went through. (It seems to me that most missions you need to have a license to participate.) Also when they went, what type of nursing skills did they use, and was it beneficial to their education? I have assumed that if I can adapt my skills to provide adequate patient care in an under-developed country it would help me with prioritizing, organization, communication...when I graduate and work in a hospital. Any and all feedback is appreciated!!! Thanks so much!
Feb 8, '13
by Stephalump, RN
I haven't done one yet, but I am headed to Tanzania this summer! We're going through the organization ISL. Our team is specifically nursing students from our program, but they do allow solo students/practitioners to join other teams.
It's a 14 day trip (unless you sign up for an extra excursion...I'll be there an extra week climbing Mt Kilimanjaro) and it's mostly spent setting up and helping run free clinics and going to medical conferences on local issues (in this area, malaria and HIV in particular.). And also learning the language. There are also day trips to local sites and markets.
As far as skills go, you should have the basics down fairly well by the end of the first year. You won't be life lighting people...you'll be giving injections and taking blood and things like that. It's sort of like being a nurse tech, but in another country.
Like I said, I haven't been yet, but everyone I know who's gone absolutely loved it.
Last edit by Stephalump on Feb 8, '13