Nursing in a warzone

  1. Hi everyone,

    I know this post will sound kind of dumb, but I was wondering if there are any nurses who went on mission trips to conflict zones.

    I am a Canadian Christian and have done prison ministry in El Salvador. It was only for 2 weeks and I was mostly just observing but after coming back I've definitely felt and still feel the calling to go again overseas.

    I am currently teaching but intend to become a nurse since I feel that is where God is calling me to go with my life. I feel He is calling me to witness to Him and to go serve the poor in this way. I believe He is calling on me to leave Canada and this probably sounds dumb but I hopefully to a country where there is war.

    It isn't impossible. I know a Christian who went to Iraq in 2003 with the Christian Peacemaker Teams to be there with the people who were being bombed and to witness to the outside world about the plight they were living in. I know that Mennonite Central Committee sends out its missionaries to conflict zones, I have a friend who is currently in Northern Uganda serving with them.

    I was wondering if there are any people on this forum who went to serve as nurses in places like Iraq or the Palestinian territories or Democratic Republic of Congo or other similar places, or who have worked in refugee camps. I'm interested in everyone's experiences, not only if you went with a Christian NGO or are a Christian.

    What was it like? What were some challenges you faced? What were some really low points and some really high points?

    Who would you recommend getting in touch with about possible oppurtunities?

    If you haven't done work in warzones but went on missions trips to developing countries I'd definitely like to hear from you as well.

    I still have a long ways to go, I plan to teach for another year or 2 and then probably 2 years of college to become an RN but this is something I've been thinking and praying about.

    Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks and God bless.

  2. Visit T123G123 profile page

    About T123G123

    Joined: Nov '08; Posts: 27; Likes: 7


  3. by   GilaRRT
    Many volunteer and paid organizations exist. I see many people work with non governmental organizations (NGO's) over in Afghanistan to help improves the lives of the national population. However, the work is not without danger. This is especially true of christians and christian based organizations.

    I would say spend your time getting through nursing school, then obtaining nursing experience prior to thinking about providing nursing care in other countries.
  4. by   T123G123
    Thank you, GilaRN.

    I'll definitely get my nursing degree first, though wouldn't it make more sense to go before settling down in Winnipeg? If you get a permanent position in a hospital, would it be even realistic to go away for a year to a country like Afghanistan? Wouldn't it mean resigning?

    About safety, though I wouldn't take unecessary risks, the element of danger certainly is there but Jesus didn't say that following Him necessarily was meant to be either easy or safe.

  5. by   GilaRRT
    So long as you recognize the risk of working in some of these countries. As far as the employment, it will depend on your employer. You are most likely going to have to give up a year of your life and start over when you return home. I am very lucky in that my employer put me on part time status and I work part time when I come home every few months on leave. Currently, I am on leave until November 28 and have been able to pick up a few days over the past few weeks. However, there is no guarantee that I will be able to return to a full time position or even that my employer will continue to keep me on part time. So, perhaps you could work out a deal where you stay on PRN or in some part time capacity, just do not bet on it.

    I am unsure of Canadian regulations regarding volunteer activities. So, you may have some type of protection, I simply do not know. My situation is different in that I am on sombodies payroll and not providing volunteer services.