I keep an occasional eye on the volunteer comments under All Nurses. Many are looking for over seas opportunities. As we've heard before, think locally first!
I'm a part time employee at a free clinic in east Tennessee-we have a team of part time (paid) nurses and volunteers. There are a number of such clinics in our state. Don't know about the others or other volunteer staffed clinics but we could ALWAYS use a few new volunteers. Nurses drop out due to job changes, shift changes, continuing ed, life changes and sadly, their own health issues. I started my medical career at this clinic as a volunteer-taking appointments then helping with patient interviews for demographic info and their health history.
Not sure what happens at other free medical clinics but our nurses triage patients, assist with procedures, perform blood draws, place orders, give flu shots, provide wound care, perform diabetic and insulin use training, assist with PAPs, know all the places to purchase the most inexpensive meds, perform EKGs, nutritional and medication counseling and reassure, reassure, reassure. We help our patients meet their challenges to resolve their health care problems.
The Volunteers in Medicine website lists a number of clinics across the US. Typically clinics are always in need of volunteers; our volunteers commit to as much time as they want to volunteer and select their own schedule. Thank God for retired nurses! It's a great use of their knowledge, skills and years of experience. Some states have special licenses for retired nurses who work only as volunteers-a benefit is no licensing fee!
If you're looking for that special feeling of fulfillment, consider a local clinic. Think of the other benefits-you can volunteer on a more regular basis and more frequently, no special shots or passports, typically no language barriers AND you get to sleep in your own bed that night!
Thanks for 'reading me out',
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