Medical Missions Trips? - page 4

I don't recall seeing this on any of the boards so I hope I am posting it in the right place..........One thing I really want to do, once I am licensed,(just graduated) is go on a medical missions... Read More

  1. by   blueberrybon
    Hi everyone.

    I got back last Saturday night/Sunday morning Dominican time.

    Well, the trip was.... worth it.

    I was in fact the intake nurse which meant I took the vitals of everyone coming in to seek medical attention. I never got a final count, but I think we saw approximately 350 to 400 patients.

    The only thing I regret is that I could not converse with the people there.

    I got really good at saying in Spanish: "Put this under your tongue", "Close your mouth", and "I need to get your weight". Besides that, I had to say: "No Habla Espaniol".

    If I ever go on another medical mission (and I hope I do), I want to speak the language of the people there.

    Blue
  2. by   tnbutterfly
    Quote from blueberrybon
    Hi everyone.

    I got back last Saturday night/Sunday morning Dominican time.

    Well, the trip was.... worth it.

    I was in fact the intake nurse which meant I took the vitals of everyone coming in to seek medical attention. I never got a final count, but I think we saw approximately 350 to 400 patients.

    The only thing I regret is that I could not converse with the people there.

    I got really good at saying in Spanish: "Put this under your tongue", "Close your mouth", and "I need to get your weight". Besides that, I had to say: "No Habla Espaniol".

    If I ever go on another medical mission (and I hope I do), I want to speak the language of the people there.

    Blue
    Welcome home Blue!!! I know you must be exhausted. It will take several days to feel rested, so plan on getting some extra sleep. I'm sure it was very frustrating for you not being able to talk with the residents, and you probably feel that this decreased your ability to care for them. I am sure you did "talk" with them through your caring nature and your smiles. They appreciated you being there more than you'll ever know. You touched many lives with your presence and willingness to serve.

    I can't wait to hear more about your trip.
  3. by   Lizzy6
    Hi Blue. Can't wait to hear your report!

    Lizzy
  4. by   blueberrybon
    Okay, details:

    Took the red-eye flight (midnight) from Seattle to JFK, had a 3 hour lay-over, then got into the DR @ about 4:30p.m. Dominican time (4 hours ahead of Seattle). Had about an hour to kill before informational meeting started so I went into Santiago to see the town. Bought a few things (have no idea how much I paid for them) then went back to the hotel.

    We (53 volunteers) met to go over the plan for the week, and introduced ourselves. Got a good nights sleep, and took off for the hills the next morning.

    It was about a 3 hour bus ride, and the scenery was amazing.

    The volunteers set up the first day, and then went to each respective host family to meet them and get situated. I couldn't speak Spanish, so I wasn't able to converse with my family at all. It was very frustrating. Three other volunteers were staying in this house with me, and they all spoke Spanish. There were wonderful conversations all the way around, with me just smiling and wishing I could take part. I think those moments made me more tired than working in the clinic.

    The next morning, we got up @ 6:30 to get ready by flashlight, had coffee that the woman of the house made us, then walked to the breakfast meeting point. There was a home that was the meeting place for every meal. We ate, then walked again to the clinic. I was floored by the amount of people waiting for us at the clinic. They were lined up along the sides of the dirt road, trying to stay in the shade of the trees.

    We were at the clinic from about 7:30 to 2:00, then took a break for lunch, then about 3:00 to 8:00 or whenever we could stop for the night, and went to dinner, then to our respective houses again. We (or the other three volunteers) would have wonderful animated conversations with the family again, with me smiling and wondering again what the converation was about.

    The same routine played out for four days, then we spent the fifth day packing everything up, loaded everything up on the bus, and went back to Santiago to stay the night in the hotel again, and catch our flights out the next morning.

    It was a whirlwind trip, and I wish it had been different in a few ways, but will cherish the experience none-the-less.

    I got some great pictures, I didn't catch anything while I was there, and I have memories that I won't soon forget. That all adds up to a positive experience.

    But I'm glad to be back in the good old USA where there are the amenities that I have taken for granted all my spoiled years.

    That's it in a large nutshell...

    Blue
  5. by   UM Review RN
    I'm so glad everything went well, blue.

    I'd be tempted to try one of these handy little toys if I went. Check it out:

    http://www.ectaco.com/ECTACO-TL-2S/?atid=2233
  6. by   Lizzy6
    Hi Blue. Sounds like you had a great experience. As another poster mentioned, a hug, smile or touch is universal, I am sure they realize that & appreciate your kindness.

    Lizzy
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    Hi Blue - glad you had such a good trip.

    Our trip to Vietnam entails gathering volunteers (about 80) who are Vietnamese American college students. They are wonderful and translate for us. We also have Vietnamese American docs, NP's, medical students, etc.

    I do not speak Vietnamese - wish I did but it is a hard language to learn.

    steph
  8. by   blueberrybon
    Wow Angie O'Plasty! That translator device looks incredable. There are times during my trip when I would have gladly shelled out the 399 bucks for the gizmo! I'm amazed with modern technology.

    Yep, if I go again I'll either be taking a crutch like that, or I'll have picked up some conversational abilities.

    Anyway, until I go out and give to my fellow human beings abroad again, I am starting a new job tomorrow and giving to the more proximal community here. I pray I start out on the right foot from the get-go!

    Take care everyone...

    Blue
  9. by   DaughteroftheKing
    I know this is a bit of an outdated thread, but I just found it .. I just had a question to all of you who have been on medical mission trips. Im starting my CNA class in a week & a half, and its for 5 weeks. I have wanted to go on a mission trip for a while, & after reading this Im so excited & I really really wanna go now. lol.
    Do any medical missions take CNA's with little experience, and how far in advance do you have to apply to go on the trip & start the process?

    Thank you!!
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Medical missions are indescribable. 2008 will make my FIFTH year going, and i'm telling you, i've never been more proud to be a nurse, or loved being a nurse more than when i've done this.
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    We go to different cities in Honduras.
  12. by   VanessaMay
    Hi guys, Im new to this forum, and am so happy I found it! I am a RN, second year out with Paediatric experience, I am now doing further study to further specialise in Paediatric nursing.

    I am wanting to nurse in Africa, but need to be hooked into some agencies etc that do that sort of thing. I would really like to work with kids (as thats what Im trained for), and just wondered if anyone has any names of agencies or groups that do things like immunisation and kids health. Any replies would be greatly appreciated, thanks heaps! VanessaMay.
  13. by   kt_b
    This is an old thread, but I found it from a search. Thank you all for your input. I just got my license and would love to go on a mission trip. I will look at all the website everyone posted and make a decision on which organization to go with.

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