7 Benefits Of Doing Medical Volunteer Work Abroad
Contrary to popular belief, earning tons of money isn’t the reason people go into the medical field. A significant number of doctors, nurses, and other allied health practitioners join the profession because they genuinely want to help others.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the dedication and unrelenting efforts of health workers worldwide. Now, if you're a doctor or an allied health professional, you might be interested to know about the benefits of doing medical volunteer work abroad.
Below are some of the advantages:
1. Achieve Deeper Appreciation Of Your Chosen Career
Most overseas health-related volunteer programs occur in countries with challenging clinical settings, scarce resources, or a shortage of medical practitioners. When you volunteer abroad as a nurse, you shouldn’t expect a vacation in a luxury villa. What you'll have is a practical learning experience that'll surely hone your skills, improve your adaptability, expand your clinical knowledge about exotic and rare diseases, and teach you the resiliency of medical professionals abroad.
When you volunteer, you should expect to work hard. But all your dedication will be rewarded with unique experience and knowledge you won’t likely get from your country. Such learning will give you a better understanding and deeper appreciation of your career.
2. Expand Knowledge About Other Cultures
Having a vacation in another country for a couple of days will give you a glimpse of the local culture. However, if you volunteer, especially if you choose a long program, you'll be immersed in the tradition, cuisine, and practices of the locals and other volunteers. This immersion may give you a culture shock at first, but you'll soon get accustomed to the cultural differences and learn to appreciate diversity.
To make your volunteer program abroad pleasant, you ought to prepare yourself for any eventuality. It's always a good idea to equip yourself with travel gadgets and tech accessories such as filter bottles, power bank, universal adapter, language translator, portable console, and others.
3. Provide Help Where You Are Needed
The main objective of a volunteer medical program is to assist in areas and countries where your services are needed the most. During the pandemic, news organizations highlighted the exodus of medical practitioners, particularly nurses, to states or even countries where infection cases skyrocketed.
In normal circumstances, however, you won’t have to face such grueling medical situations. Nevertheless, your volunteer experience will still give you a feeling of contentment as you'll be stationed in an area where your skills and expertise will be needed and appreciated. Just make sure to sign up for a reliable volunteer program that'll place you in a country where you're most required.
4. Gain A Deeper Understanding Of Global Health
Another significant benefit you’ll get from working abroad as a volunteer is learning more about diseases and conditions starkly different from where you live. Aside from learning about diseases such as dengue, polio, or malaria, you'll also be exposed to local traditional medical practices and even the use of herbal remedies.
The experience you gain from your volunteer work can be a great addition to your resumé, mainly if you aim to work for global organizations in the future.
5. Obtain New Skills And Experience
Aside from honing your clinical skills, you'll also learn more from your volunteer work abroad that'll prove valuable to your field and personal life. Medical volunteer work will teach patience, resilience, time management, self-confidence, people skills, teamwork, and management skills.
6. Gain New International Friends
When you do volunteer work in other countries, you're bound to forge lasting relationships with your co-volunteers and local coworkers. You'd develop a deep friendship with the people you work with because you'll see and interact with them daily. And many times, you'd have to put your trust in your local partners to bring you around and even assist in transacting with other residents who may not speak your language.
7. Achieve Personal Development
When you work in a different country away from your friends and family, you'll learn to depend on yourself and make important life choices. One benefit you can expect from your volunteer work is personal development. You'll learn ways to deal with different people, life hacks from locals, and even a new language. If you have time, you can also discover local cuisine or learn new talents such as dancing and playing local musical instruments.
Some nurses, doctors, and other health professionals get attracted to volunteering abroad because of the travel to an exciting country. But there’s more to it when you volunteer. This kind of work can hone your medical skills and improve your life experience in a way others simply can't match.