Along with the adventure that comes with traveling abroad and the excitement of discovering new cultures, medical volunteering overseas in any capacity has too many benefits to mention them all here. But volunteer nursing opportunities abroad simply abound. They not only help develop a career, but also increase a health care worker’s sense of compassion, skills, and self-worth.
Many aspiring student nurses opt to make the trip to a developing or impoverished country before entering a traditional hospital setting. Seasoned nurses also return to volunteer their services whenever they can. International volunteer opportunities are a beneficial experience not only for the nurses, but also for all of the lives and communities they touch.
A Need the World Over
It may stun you to learn that over 1.3 billion people across the world don’t have access to basic health care services — mostly because the number of health care workers is not rising quickly enough to accommodate the demands of a growing global population. This is particularly true in the field of nursing. For those wishing to volunteer, nursing opportunities abroad just abound. In general medical volunteering itself is desperately needed.
The World Health Report says “the right workers with the right skills in the right place doing the right things” can address the need for better global health care. For those taking advantage of the many nursing opportunities abroad, it is truly amazing how much they can do to ease the problem of insufficient medical care in developing countries by giving their time, skills, and experience to the cause.
The need for global health care has skyrocketed in recent years creating more and more nursing opportunities abroad. Several national health care organizations chose not to undertake such an expensive project due to resource constraints; hence, the opportunity to unite health care volunteers globally remained for many years a distant dream. It was clear that an independent, third-party, non-partisan, non-governmental organization (NGO) unaffiliated with any country or entity needed to be formed to promote medical volunteering and work in a rapidly globalizing world.
More than four million additional doctors, nurses, midwives, managers and public health workers are urgently needed to fill the gap. Every affected country needs to improve the way it plans for, educates and employs the doctors, nurses and support staff who make up the health workforce and provide them with better working conditions.
Across the developing world, health workers face economic hardship, deteriorating infrastructure and social unrest. In many countries the HIV/AIDS epidemic has also destroyed the health and lives of health workers.
‘Developing’ (or underdeveloped or impoverished) countries need increased health care facilities and workers the most. Despite wealth and prosperity found in small pockets of nearly every developing nation, the majority of the country lives in areas with high poverty levels. Besides inadequate health care these countries generally suffer from:
. Slow industrial growth
. Lack of economic stability
. Inadequate or no social services programs
. Lack of clean running water
. Little or no educational choices
Aid groups and global organizations, medical volunteers and others are the most active in developing countries, frequently supplying people with food, education, medicine and other health care services, as well as being bringers of hope to people who have been beaten down by their life circumstances.
Wide-Ranging Opportunities For Volunteer Nurses
An ever growing number of people are seeking nursing opportunities abroad. With an ongoing aim to build the largest listing of health care volunteering and employment opportunities, HealthCare Volunteer (a non-profit for global health care) reports that since 2008 more than 2,753,720 searches involving over 3,427 organizations have led to more than 42,612 volunteer connections and over 7,069 volunteering opportunities. Many of these were for medical volunteers including those looking for nursing opportunities abroad.
Doctors Without Borders not only seeks MDs to supply medical care to people living in developing countries, but seeks out nurses to volunteer their services. In the 21st century, nurse anesthetists, operating room nurses, and nurse-midwives are especially in high demand.
Presently, an overseas nursing volunteer has the opportunity to do much more than take someone’s temperature and administer vaccines. They have a chance to make a real difference pertaining to today’s pressing health care issues that affect patients abroad.