New grad volunteer in South Africa - page 3

by RNlivy 8,855 Views | 26 Comments

Hello, all! I've been a follower for some time now, and I thought I would post my first thread to ask for some advice/opinions. I graduated last year with my ADN, got my RN license in July 2009, and went straight into a... Read More


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    Sorry for the late respoonse! I read the posts awhile ago but never got around to answering.

    I was able to find out more information about my trip, thank goodness! I will be in the KZN area (Kwazulu-natal?). I think she said Winterton/Loskop. Knowing this information definitely makes the trip seem more real. (THank you, GHGoonette, for all the information!)

    My sister's friend, who is an RN at Lucille-Packard Children's, has a coworker who started up a mobile clinic/orphanage overseas. That is the main reason I was able to find out about this opportunity. If you google Dreams for Africa, there is a link that shows what she does over there, a blog, and a few pictures. As far as I know, they are very accommodating to whoever will take time to help out over there. I'm not sure if there are other volunteers that are already there, but I'm not going with a big group. It will only be me, my sister, and her friend who will be traveling over there.

    On another note, my friend sent me a link after he found out I was going to South Africa about the incidence of rape. VERY scary. Hmm, I can't find the link anymore. But the article pretty much says that 1 in 3 South African men have commited rape. The article goes into much more detail, let's just say that none of them are very pretty =T
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    Quote from RNlivy
    Sorry for the late respoonse! I read the posts awhile ago but never got around to answering.

    I was able to find out more information about my trip, thank goodness! I will be in the KZN area (Kwazulu-natal?). I think she said Winterton/Loskop. Knowing this information definitely makes the trip seem more real. (THank you, GHGoonette, for all the information!)

    My sister's friend, who is an RN at Lucille-Packard Children's, has a coworker who started up a mobile clinic/orphanage overseas. That is the main reason I was able to find out about this opportunity. If you google Dreams for Africa, there is a link that shows what she does over there, a blog, and a few pictures. As far as I know, they are very accommodating to whoever will take time to help out over there. I'm not sure if there are other volunteers that are already there, but I'm not going with a big group. It will only be me, my sister, and her friend who will be traveling over there.

    On another note, my friend sent me a link after he found out I was going to South Africa about the incidence of rape. VERY scary. Hmm, I can't find the link anymore. But the article pretty much says that 1 in 3 South African men have commited rape. The article goes into much more detail, let's just say that none of them are very pretty =T
    Here are a couple of links for Winterton:

    Tourist info...

    http://www.google.co.za/url?sa=t&sou...9s4Vsk-j8Od1Mw

    Maps And other info...

    Maps, Weather, Videos, and Airports for Winterton, South Africa

    And Loskop...(the name means "forgetful" or scatterbrained lol)

    Loskop Map | South Africa Google Satellite Maps

    You'll see Loskop is not very far from Winterton. Lucky you, it's a stunningly beautiful area! I was last in Kwazulu-Natal back in 1966, and I've never even visited the Drakensberg (Dragon Mountains). Heaven only knows why not...

    Yes, rape is a terrible fact of life in South Africa, and the sociologists and psychologists are still trying to work out why. However, not every South African man is a slavering rapist! Just follow the basic rules of safety and common sense and you'll be fine. Never go off by yourselves, stick with your group. Never drink alcohol (or in that part of the world, smoke funny cigarettes!) with strangers (KZN is renowned for the high quality of its "ganja" ). Don't go off for walks by yourselves, and if you decide to rent a car, listen closely to safety and security rules-hijackings are very common.

    I always bear in mind that most people are just like me, all they want is to make a living, give their children a better chance than they had in life and get on with their fellow humans, but the wolves are out there and we sheep must stick close together!

    You'll probably be dealing a lot with AIDS sufferers and orphans. KZN has a very high incidence of HIV infection, so don't ever forget your standard precautions!
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    Quote from Hearticulture RN
    Hey there!
    Having done some work abroad, I thin kthis would be wonderful for you! Go for it! I would say, though, that it is important to know what the expectations of you will be, it's easy to get in over your head fast. Inquire what leadership hierarchies are in place, what you'll be doing, and find out you can best prepare. Best of luck!
    HearticultureRN:

    I am about to graduate from a BSN nursing program in December and am desperate for work abroad. I am from the US and have tried to look up work requirements for the UK, Canada and Australia but am interested in all countries. I noticed that you have worked abroad - where have you worked, and when? Were you able to get a job, or was it volunteering? Did you do this work right out of college or did you wait and have a year of hospital experience in the US first? Many thanks.
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    Hi! So I worked abroad before going to nursing school with 2 groups, 1 clinic in Ecuador working with Hansen's disease, and another primary care clinic in rural Nicaragua, both profound experiences that changed my life! There was an opportunity to volunteer with the latter group, but I found a fantastic job in a HUGE FQHC in northern California, so alas, I could not take the volunteer position.

    I'll be blunt...The sense I get is that it is hard as a new graduate to find work abroad without experience...heck it's painful to try to find it here in the US. Some countries, like NZ, are hurting for help and do have sign-on bonuses for what is mostly rural care (where experience REALLY helps). HOWEVER, many new grads are getting SOME experience by volunteering for NGOs, community clinics, brigades, etc.
    Again, treating folks in the boon-docks of a different country, with a different culture, and usually language barriers is about the steepest learning curve you can ask for...but it grows you FAST! It takes a special person, fierce, tenacious, and wicked-smart.
    Furthermore, many nurse managers might question the up-to-date-ness of skills utilized in the back-country or third world...BUT!
    ...personall, if I were a manager of a unit/clinic, and this eager, B@11sy and adventurous new clinician with diverse experience applied, I would personally be SUPER impressed that they signed up for such a challenge and emerged having gained something. They would be much more appealing to me than the person who did requesite LTC or flu shot clinics.
    I hope this helps! I still have dreams of, before my MSN, taking off with MSF for a year or working for some other awesome NGO. BEST OF LUCK!!!
    AlexandrAnne likes this.
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    Thank you so much for the prompt reply! In Nicuragua and Ecuador, did you do these trips with a particular organization? Half of the trouble I'm running into is just finding a place to volunteer that wont cost me three grand on my part. Did you feel like your experiences helped your resume? That would be a bonus, because my main objective is just go travel and feel like I am getting to do something that is against the flow of "normal" American nursing. I just feel like we are gifted with our knowledge and skills and we should be out in the community helping those who may not have seen medical care or have limited access. Did you get your Cardiac position as a new grad?
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    So, how was your trip?
    Faith2012 likes this.
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    Wow! I am so jealous! I think it will bring a new cultural aspect to your Nursing care, and if you go for your Masters or Phd, you'll have some original ideas for research. Also, family is so important, it's good that you can share this adventure together. I hope I get a chance to do something like this when I have a good window of opportunity. Tell us what you lear, maybe a blogt or article on all nurses?
    Last edit by nola1202 on Jul 6, '11 : Reason: op back from trip, not applicable


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