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NPs - Tropical Medicine

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I have recently been considering pursuing some work overseas, IE doctors without borders or similar alternatives. My background is inpatient med/surg nursing x 5 years, followed by 5 years as a FNP in primary care. I have gone only on one medical mission which was in Haiti and I worked as a RN in mobile clinics. I have not done work overseas as a NP.

Has anyone delved into tropical medicine that could share their experiences? My main questions are:

Did you take any courses or complete a tropical medicine diploma? if so, where? and do you recommend the program? I have been looking into the tropical medicine diploma offered by University of Minnesota.

Which organization did you work through and do you recommend it?

How has your overall experience been and do you have any regrets? Pros/Cons to consider?

Any fraction of answers to these questions would be helpful! Thank you!

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

I know one NP who specializes in tropical medicine. She belongs to Christian religious mission group.

She told her story started from several missions on Haiti, then she signed up for Nurses Without Borders. After several years, she took several specialized courses in tropical medicine in University of London (U.K.) where she studied alongside physician fellows. It took her almost a year and, by her, was (not that surprisingly) hugely expensive, although her church paid at least something. After this, she obtained international certificate in U.K. (but not their license). She now travels most of the year doing medical/missionary job for her church in the most impossible places in the World one can imagine and has life to get envy about. Last time she surfaced in Ephiopia, teaching in Addis-Ababa and working as missionary and a nurse, meanwhile being involved in digging for hominid fossils for Leakey team.

She enjoys her life, although, obviously, it is not everyone's cup.

Edited by KatieMI

13 hours ago, KatieMI said:

I know one NP who specializes in tropical medicine. She belongs to Christian religious mission group.

She told her story started from several missions on Haiti, then she signed up for Nurses Without Borders. After several years, she took several specialized courses in tropical medicine in University of London (U.K.) where she studied alongside physician fellows. It took her almost a year and, by her, was (not that surprisingly) hugely expensive, although her church paid at least something. After this, she obtained international certificate in U.K. (but not their license). She now travels most of the year doing medical/missionary job for her church in the most impossible places in the World one can imagine and has life to get envy about. Last time she surfaced in Ephiopia, teaching in Addis-Ababa and working as missionary and a nurse, meanwhile being involved in digging for hominid fossils for Leakey team.

She enjoys her life, although, obviously, it is not everyone's cup.

My vision of tropical medicine is living on some resort in the Caribbean drinking fruity drinks on the beach with 1-2 days per week in the clinic 🙂

Numenor, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

On 6/9/2020 at 1:28 PM, KatieMI said:

I know one NP who specializes in tropical medicine. She belongs to Christian religious mission group.

She told her story started from several missions on Haiti, then she signed up for Nurses Without Borders. After several years, she took several specialized courses in tropical medicine in University of London (U.K.) where she studied alongside physician fellows. It took her almost a year and, by her, was (not that surprisingly) hugely expensive, although her church paid at least something. After this, she obtained international certificate in U.K. (but not their license). She now travels most of the year doing medical/missionary job for her church in the most impossible places in the World one can imagine and has life to get envy about. Last time she surfaced in Ephiopia, teaching in Addis-Ababa and working as missionary and a nurse, meanwhile being involved in digging for hominid fossils for Leakey team.

She enjoys her life, although, obviously, it is not everyone's cup.

Does she actually do NP work overseas or RN work? From what I understand even in 3rd wold countries you need to be licensed and only a few countries actually have NPs. Canada, UK, Australia etc

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

8 hours ago, Numenor said:

Does she actually do NP work overseas or RN work? From what I understand even in 3rd wold countries you need to be licensed and only a few countries actually have NPs. Canada, UK, Australia etc

Actually, what she is doing during missions comes as close to physician's work as it can be. Licensing, scope or practice and such matters much less in the field.

We compared her responsibilities with what I was doing when I was "field" pediatrician before immigration, it came pretty close by in terms of sheer craziness. But now I won't, for anything in the World, do trache on a toddler on kichen table (the kiddo, should I mention it, had advanced form of diphtheria and I had zero PPE apart of non-sterile gloves. He survived, I did not get it). I still do crazy things but in setting which is safer and more comfortable. My dear friend still enjoys delivering babies in the shadow of tree using banana leaves as bedspreads and stating that they are best for the purpose because each leaf made the way so that blood doesn't stay on it but immediately flows off it.

She uses disposable sterile labor kits with PPE, at least 🙂

WOW!, thank you so much for your detailed responses. Very helpful. Your friend (and you) are amazing!