It was a fantastic experience! We worked at the Hospital Bernard Mevs in Port Au Prince. It is a fully operating hospital with an ER, Med-Surg, peds unit, NICU, adult ICU, operating rooms, pharmacy, and a lab. I use some of these terms loosely, though because it's what you would expect in a devastated nation like Haiti. Equipment is old and doesn't always work. At one point we were running dangerously short on gloves and we did run out of alcohol swabs. The power cuts out many times throughout the day and none of the equipment (the few pieces we had) would run on battery. It's hot, dirty, stinky, exhausting, frustrating, and everyone is at risk for the dreaded GI upset. It can be a little risky at times but what third-world volunteering isn't? I would by lying if I said I felt safe 100% of the time. I did feel safe 100% of the time when I was at the hospital. Leaving the hospital can be quite an adventure, though (always in groups). Yet was one of the best experiences of my life.
We got to practice some really cool MacGyver-style nursing (i.e. my friend made an NG tube out of a straight cath for a neonate and we turned 60cc syringes into breast pumps). I was humbled by the love and devotion of Haitian families. They bathe, feed, clothe, and take care of the bedpan/toileting for their loved ones - something we never see in the adult world in our hospitals. I made friends with many of the Haitian nurses even though most of them don't speak any English. There are nightly trips to the UN where they have some of the best pizza and beer you'll ever have (or at least at the time you'll think it is) and you'll learn to appreciate what we take for granted in the states. I'm planning on going back next winter.