Volunteer Opportunity

MEDICINE AND HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCE & OBSERVATION - Work side by side with medical staff at the local hospital

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Aldeas de Paz - Peace Villages Foundation | Santa Barbara de Samana, 20, Dominican Republic
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Aldeas de Paz - Peace Villages Foundation


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Published 1 month ago

Time Commitment

Part time (10-30 hrs/wk)

Duration

Short-Term (few weeks/months)


MEDICINE AND HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCE & OBSERVATION - Work side by side with medical staff at the local hospital


Gain invaluable hands-on experience, working side by side with medical staff and fellow volunteers at a hospital or a neighborhood health clinic. This opportunity will give you an insight into the day to day running of a hospital or clinic. You will experience the stark contrast between western medical practice and the realities of medicine in developing countries. As the hospitals and clinics are still modernizing there are many challenges faced and there are realities not often seen in developed countries. Therefore, this project not only provides you with responsibility, it also allows you to broaden your perspective by working at a hospital/health clinic in a developing country where you will be faced with the stark realities of the disparities between medical practice in the developed and developing world. This means that, sadly, you will also see medical conditions that have remained untreated and have developed to an advanced pathological stage uncommon in developed countries. Furthermore, you can gain experience in a range of different departments and activities within the hospital, such as: Emergency, Pediatry, Maternity (only female volunteers), Diabetes and Integral Attention & Prevention for HIV, Tuberculosis and Uterine Cancer as well as Nursing, Hospital administration and management assisting with accountancy and helping with statistics. There is also the possibility to work in the pharmacy.

Your level of possible involvement will largely depend on your Spanish language skills and experiences in the field, as well as your motivation and willingness to get involved. It will also depend on the current needs and tasks at the hospital as we really want to help out wherever our help is needed most. Your work schedule will be created in a meeting with the departmental director and the volunteer coordinator and supervisor. In this process we always try to match your interests and skills with the current situation at the hospital. In order to gain the most out of your experience, and especially if you have a specific health care goal, please contact us in advance to discuss your options in detail. Please keep in mind that hospitalized patient care in the Dominican Republic is much less extensive compared to nursery practices in the western world! It is common to see that family members are expected taking care of their patient at the hospital.

What to expect

Working hours will be primarily in the morning when the physicians are at the hospital/health clinic. As with any medical service, volunteers should recognize that their schedules may be subject to sudden changes and are dictated by patients’ needs. You are encouraged to also take part in weekend shifts and watches with doctors and nurses as this gives you excellent exposure to work observation and experience opportunities! Please note that due to worldwide regulations only trained medical staff can be allowed to directly treat patients. Volunteers/interns without medical training can assist the medical staff and work in healthcare.

Activities can include but are not limited to

  • Observing, shadowing and assisting doctors and nurses during their work
  • Participating in patient care: comfort patients and assist in examining patients
  • Providing ambulance support when needed
  • Assisting, teaching and encouraging prevention, hygiene and check-ups
  • Assisting in developing educational materials and engagement strategies for various prevention programs using multimedia means
  • Assisting regularly with hospital administration tasks and help improve procedures and workflow
  • Assisting occasionally with domiciliary health services, assistance, hygiene and information
  • Some volunteers may also choose to teach English to the doctors, should there be a sufficient number of doctors interested
  • Several times a year there are foreign medical mission visiting and working at the hospital. You may accompany them and if you wish translate for them
  • There may also be varying current projects, which volunteers may wish to join. Past projects were a zika information and prevention program and the education of mothers-to-be on the importance of considering breast feeding as part of an ongoing UNICEF project

Requirements

This program is suitable for pre-medical students and students of pharmaceutics as well as nursing students with free holiday time, pre-university students, students taking or planning to take specialist medical courses such as biomedical science, nursing and physiotherapy as well as professionals. The key requirements for a medical volunteer or intern are initiative, enthusiasm, and readiness to work in unfamiliar circumstances. If volunteers have more specialized skills, this will allow for more specialized activities. Basic conversational Spanish skills are required and the more advanced your level of experience and Spanish language skills, the larger the number of opportunities available. To allow for deeper engagement with your placement we offer free Spanish language lessons every week allowing for an enhanced experience as a volunteer/intern with us. Suggestions on what to bring: Please bring scrubs and easy to clean comfortable closed shoes to wear as they are mandatory

Volunteer Placement or Internship

This program can be booked as a volunteer placement or internship meeting university requirements and issuing certification. Please let us know your school or universities internship requirements and we will work out your personalized work plan.

Time Commitment

A minimum time commitment of 2 weeks is required. For volunteers and interns with little experience, a six to eight week minimum time commitment is encouraged. You can join this program throughout the whole year. Working hours will be primarily in the morning when the physicians are at the hospital/health clinic while in healthcare 24 hour rotations are implemented. As with any medical service, volunteers should recognize that their schedules may be subject to sudden changes and are dictated by patients’ needs. Spanish speakers will get the most out of the rotation. Friendly and welcoming physicians, nurses, and patients make this rotation a joy to be a part of! You are encouraged to also take part in weekend shifts and watches with doctors and nurses as this gives you excellent exposure to work observation and experience opportunities!

Placement Locations

Samana and Las Terrenas

Financial Contribution & Benefits

Aldeas de Paz works hard to keep the required financial contribution to an absolute minimum and to offer financial transparency by practicing an open book policy. The calculation of your financial contribution or donation is set up so that the longer you stay the less you give per week. We do this to encourage longer stays, recognizing that longer stays lead to more significant volunteer work and more energy contributed in the form of donated time in place of money! The minimum contribution starts at €175 per week and includes Spanish language classes, double room at one of our fully equipped guesthouse apartments, a special program donation as well as a personal welcome service and pick-up at the airport, transfer to the bus, bus fare and free transfer to your placement location in Las Terrenas or Samana. If you wish a single room upgrade add €40 per week and an all in Host Family homestay upgrade is €145 per week, including a private bedroom and two meals per day. For an independent fully equipped Bungalow or one-room apartment add €75 per week (only available in Las Terrenas) For more information about costs and benefits check out our webpage

What is included

  • Volunteer or Internship placement 
  • Accommodation of your choice
  • Welcome Service at the airport and transport to your placement location
  • Free Wi-Fi and use of washing machine at all our facilities 
  • Placement introduction, training, supervision, briefings and meetings 
  • Free regular Spanish lessons throughout the placement 
  • Certificate and/or written reference or student credit 
  • Full support and 24/7 backup from local staff  
  • Information about adventure packages

Special Offer

Spanish language classes - volunteers and interns receive free language lessons every week. The classes focus on developing communication skills so that students are able to put their knowledge to practical use as soon as they step outside the classroom. Our teaching method enables students to develop four basic skills: listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. The idea is to learn Spanish in a natural and spontaneous way, just as students have learned their mother tongue. Our students are encouraged to speak Spanish right from the very first day, using it in typical real-life situations: the basic syllabus is supplemented by special exercises, such as role-play, situational dialogues and work projects. Outside the classroom, the learning process continues as you are immersed in the Spanish language and the Dominican culture.

Contact Information  

Contact Person: Manfred Mönnighoff; Project/charity name: Fundación Aldeas de Paz; Address: Samana, Dominican Republic, Whatsapp: +1 829 7055 123; E-Mail: mail@peacevillages.org; Webpage: http://www.peacevillages.org; Facebook: http://www.facebook/AldeasdePaz; Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/AldeasDePaz; Twitter: @AldeasDePaz; YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/Peacevillages

MEDICINE AND HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCE & OBSERVATION - Work side by side with medical staff at the local hospital


Gain invaluable hands-on experience, working side by side with medical staff and fellow volunteers at a hospital or a…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Training Provided
  • Housing Available
  • Language / Cultural Support Available
  • Groups Welcome
  • International Volunteers Welcome

Location

Santa Barbara de Samana, 20, DO
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