Restraint Urged for Clinicians Seeking to Volunteer in Haiti - page 3
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Jan 24, '10Hi everyone
Barbara McLean here. I think it is very important to understand the issues. If nurses or doctors or anyone for that matter, travel to offer assistance and are compelled to do so, that is an honorable committment. If one does so spontaneously, you will run out of supplies, resources and ability very quickly. The article is basically stating that to offer assistance is admirable, to believe that you are providing care without backup and a connection to a system that has resources, can track you, feed you, provide some security and continuous support for your patients is foolish. You then become part of the problem. I was in Haiti from Day 3 post quake to day 6 post quake and am returning today (sunday) for five more days. I am an independent practitoner in Atlanta GA, but have some disaster training and experience. I went to Houston for Day one evacuation from Katrina via the University of Texas System ( I paid for myself and had a friend who let me sty at her home) and to Haiti via the University of Miami System (I paid for my travel to Miami). Both these systems were up and functional, with lots of resources for patients. Being a surge volunteer does NOT mean being reckless...just that you invest time in finding a system that will validate you, and being willing to be very flexible regarding travel, transport and role. You can follow me on twitter (criticalbarbara) and later on my website for stories and pictures.
Jan 27, '10Medical help on hold as groups await transportation to Haiti