Anyone ever lived and/or worked as an RN in Ecuador?

  1. 1 I'll try this again - I asked about a month ago about living in Mexico (and of course, the overwhelming response was how dangerous Mexico is).

    We've since done more research and have revised our plans (not because of the putative dangerousness of Mexico, but because Ecuador suits our plans better). Husband and I plan to relocate to Ecuador in 8-10 years, after two older children graduate from high school. Our plan is such that we will take a (very) early retirement, but I would like the option of continuing to work part-time as an advanced practice nurse (midwife).

    Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about American nurses working in Ecuador?
  2. Visit  klone profile page

    About klone, BSN, RN

    klone has '10' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'OB/Gyn, research, lactation,'. From 'Denver, CO, US'; Joined Apr '03; Posts: 9,231; Likes: 18,723.

    19 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  CaregiverGrace profile page
    1
    Id be carful about Ecuador as I have heard of drug seizures/smuggling in the area and unless you know the street smarts of the locals you could be in for a rough go of it. Have you lived in the area prior to deciding to get a job there? I always tell my friends to vacation in a new country before they move there to get an idea of any language/cultural/safety issues you may not expect. I heard parts of south america are very beuaitful though!
    Otessa likes this.
  4. Visit  caliotter3 profile page
    2
    See, danger no matter where you go.
    Neveranurseagain and Otessa like this.
  5. Visit  klone profile page
    1
    Oh, for goodness sake. Or I could just stay in the good ole' US of A and find crime and drugs!

    FWIW, this city in Ecuador has been named one of the "best places to retire" by US News and World Reports for about 5 years in a row. So no, it's not riddled with drug crime. It has a large American/British ex-pat community. Yes, we plan on visiting several times over the next 8 years before we move for good.

    So I really don't need a bunch of cautionary tales about how dangerous it is, although I appreciate people's good intentions. I would really just like to talk to someone who may have worked there as an RN.
    Jarnaes likes this.
  6. Visit  Otessa profile page
    1
    Quote from klone
    Oh, for goodness sake. Or I could just stay in the good ole' US of A and find crime and drugs!

    FWIW, this city in Ecuador has been named one of the "best places to retire" by US News and World Reports for about 5 years in a row. So no, it's not riddled with drug crime. It has a large American/British ex-pat community. Yes, we plan on visiting several times over the next 8 years before we move for good.

    So I really don't need a bunch of cautionary tales about how dangerous it is, although I appreciate people's good intentions. I would really just like to talk to someone who may have worked there as an RN.
    If it's the best place to retire, questioning the need for midwife or would you work in a different role in Ecuador?
    April, RN likes this.
  7. Visit  klone profile page
    0
    I will already be a midwife for several years by the time we move there. I would like to have the option to continue working on a part-time basis, if I wish (we won't *need* to, financially, but would like to continue for my own edification).
  8. Visit  April, RN profile page
    0
    I think I'm thinking the same thing Otessa is. I don't know anything about Ecuador but if this city is one of the best places to retire, I would think the average age would be 60+ and not childbearing age. It raises the question of whether or not a midwife would be needed in the area.

    That aside, I admire your adventurousness!
  9. Visit  klone profile page
    0
    Quote from April, RN
    I think I'm thinking the same thing Otessa is. I don't know anything about Ecuador but if this city is one of the best places to retire, I would think the average age would be 60+ and not childbearing age. It raises the question of whether or not a midwife would be needed in the area.

    That aside, I admire your adventurousness!
    Ah, gotcha. I misunderstood the question.

    Only a small percentage of the population is retirees. There is still a whole city full of native Ecuadorans, many of whom are having babies!
  10. Visit  roser13 profile page
    2
    No doubt that current conditions in Ecuador have no bearing whatsoever on conditions in 8-10 years.

    Not quite sure why you're asking for information in this forum at this time, particularly since you're arguing with each answer that you receive and placing conditions upon your advice, as in:

    "So I really don't need a bunch of cautionary tales about how dangerous it is"

    Truly, what advice are you looking for?
    Last edit by roser13 on Dec 16, '10
    Otessa and caliotter3 like this.
  11. Visit  klone profile page
    1
    In case you missed it in my OP (oh, and in the TITLE of my post):

    Quote from klone
    Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about American nurses working in Ecuador?
    I was wondering if there were any nurses here who had worked in Ecuador. Nothing more, nothing less, not sure how to make it any more clear than that.
    Last edit by klone on Dec 16, '10
    Jarnaes likes this.
  12. Visit  Bandaide profile page
    0
    I can't directly answer your questions about Ecuador, though I have been there. I did spend a month in Peru visiting remote health care clinics in the Andeas mountains. I don't know if it is true in Ecuador, but in Peru the health providers are not parallel to what we have in the U.S.. Babies were delivered by "Obstetras", who, as far as my Spanish would take me, seemed to have a training level somewhere between a Certified Nurse Midwife and an obstetrician. Before setting my heart on being a midwife there, I would check out if your training would be of use there.

    I found that medical services in remote areas of Peru were in many ways superior to the U.S.. Just because it is a "third world" country, I had kind od assumed that our system/training would be superior. I was wrong. The country of Peru serves their people medically to a higher level than we do here, for a small fraction of the cost. The exception is in cancer care, which is not covered by their national health insurance.

    One opportunity that I found in Peru is a program called Projecto Peru, which is a language school in Cuzco. They will set you up with a volunteer position is a hospital, orphanage or school in the city. They also help with either a host family or an apartment. I plan to go for a month or two after nursing school if I can't land a job. I think it would be a great way to check out a country before moving so far away. Hopefully you can find a similar situation in Ecuador. Good Luck!
  13. Visit  AntMarchingRN profile page
    0
    i have never worked in ecuador, but i used to live and have worked as a rn in costa rica so hopefully i will at least be able to shed some light on what it is like to practice in central america.

    i came from an er background so i worked in an urgent care clinic. it was also the only choice as the closest hospital was 2 hours away. (this is very common in these countries) the people in this community used this clinic for everything from regular office visits to emergencies. our doctor new every member of the town and i often went house to house giving immunizations and needed care. also because it was near a volcano we got many tourists who would bang their heads off waterslides or get lacerations zip lining. i learned to do a great stitch job. situations like this are why you will soon learn that there are no specialties if you do not work in a true hospital. you will work way outside of a us scope of practice. you become a jack of all trades by necessity and i'm not sure about ecuador but midwifes are illegal in costa rica. it is not a recognized profession and most all babies are scheduled c-sections before due dates due to hospitals being so sparse. having a baby outside of a hospital is unheard of and if this happens in an emergency birth it is very hard to get a birth certificate for the child causing years of paperwork and red tape. i'm sure you could work with births in a hospital, but there are not many in retirement type areas. (at least in cr)

    also in our clinic there was no medical equipment or supplies. if a patient needed an iv their family member would have to first go to the pharmacy (they are everywhere and often administered injections in store), buy the saline and tubing, then bring it to us to administer it. it was policy that we kept nothing on hand. if the patient needed hospital care they had at least a 2 hour wait to get to it then goodness knows how long after that. again, i don't know how it is in ecuador (i'll stop saying that, you get it by now...but) in costa rica healthcare is socialized. everyone gets it no matter what. it may be literal years before a patient gets the tests or whatever they need. don't get me wrong immediate medical needs are taken care of, but for example i saw a patient in 2009 that needed a cxr and we gave her a prescription to get it next month. by that i don't mean the next month i mean january 2011! i often think of her and wonder what happened. if i was a rich person i would go back to cr and open an out patient radiology center. i'd be rolling in colone$.

    well i have gone on forever, but i just wanted to give you an idea of the huge difference in what nursing is there compared to here in the us. it can be done but you have to be willing to forget the us protocol and rules and do what you can to help who you can. there is no scope of practice or sterility like we have here but it is still a very fulfilling work experience and educated nurses are always needed.

    good luck!!

    ps- you must speak fluent spanish or you will be ineffective. you don't have time in most situations to learn on the job and patients (wonderfully kind people) will often not trust you to take care of them or understand what they need. they are usually scared and are mistrustful of foreign medical professionals that they think are "coming to learn" on them.

    sorry so long!!
  14. Visit  phoenixrn profile page
    0
    I spent a summer shadowing physicians in Quito. I had a stint at the Military hospital, La Maternidad and at a family clinic.

    The most striking difference was the availability of supplies, which you should be prepared for. Ecuador is a very poor country which pays out a majority of its income to pay IMF/World Bank debts, and little is left for health care. I worked with a hematologist who had one latex glove that he carried around that he would use for a tourniquet (no prepacked, sterile IV supplies!). A pediatrician I shadowed had a pen blow up in his hand, and he had to hunt for a bar of soap to try and clean it off. At the Maternity hospital, savvy nurses saved empty water containers and strung them to their med carts to use as sharps containers.

    Interestingly enough, the sex worker clinic was the most modern and had the best service. Prostitution is legal and highly regulated, and they had a young female doctor with a private entrance and waiting room. They were required to have an exam and have their license "stamped" every couple of weeks.

    One fascinating element is the strong influence of native traditions... I can't remember the name, many but Quechua use faith healers for their care, especially maternity care. I was able to witness the examination of a pregnant woman by one of these healers and it was very interesting... seemed more like a ritual than an exam.

    So that was the big city.... Ecuador is such a magical place. I never went to Vilcambamba, which I where I imagine most expats go to retire! I saw the Lonely Planet version of Ecuador.


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