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Thought Piece

4 Reasons to Become A Medical Volunteer

By Mikey
Successfully sending volunteers abroad for 10 years

Medical volunteering is not only an amazing opportunity but also vital to help those in developing countries. This type of charity work typically involves working in hospitals and clinics as well as areas which possess a lack of manpower and resources. 

For some, medical volunteering abroad can seem like a rather daunting prospect. However, the thousands of people who have signed up to be part of such vital volunteering work can testify that these medical programs are a positive challenge to overcome and a way to bolster skills and/or gain experience. You might just be someone who simply has a deep need to help those who are less fortunate and this desire compels you to go to places where your time and extra hands are invaluable. 

Whether you are one or the other, what do you think are the biggest reasons to become a medical volunteer? We’ve picked out four that we feel are very important. Take a look and see if you agree.  

1.     Be Part of Discovering Innovative Solutions on Restricted Resources

Whether you are a doctor, a nurse, or a healthcare worker, when you arrive in Africa on your placement, you’ll find that dealing with such things as limited resources, inadequate facilities, and short-handed hospitals/clinics is the norm. While this is not how staff choose to work, it’s the reality they live in.  

As a result, these circumstances mean you are forced to move out of your comfort zone and operate in a more challenging setting than you may have been in before. This environment can do a lot for people and is often cited for being character-building, skill and ability-enhancing and also a reason for people to collaborate with the doctors and other volunteers to source innovative solutions and avenues to get things done. 

Being able to adapt in this way means that the healthcare in the region can be vastly improved, not to mention the working conditions of the doctors and healthcare professionals working where you are too. 

2.     Get Hands-On Experience and Work in Genuine Medical Situations

Being a medical volunteer is not only an exciting adventure, but it is also an extremely rewarding way to gain the practical experience budding professionals need within the medical industry. 

You’ll be in situations which see you dealing with real people, so if you have aspirations of pursuing the medical field as a career then adding hands-on experience to your CV is a great way of helping you to figure out which aspect of the medicine and healthcare profession you feel you have the most passion for. This can make it easier for you to reach your goal when you return home because you’ll know where to focus your energy and effort. 

The experience you get by shadowing the doctors and other medical professionals, as well as the skills you will develop are concrete ways to form a reliable foundation for your budding career. You will undoubtedly refer to these skills and experiences for years to come and throughout your career.

Being a medical volunteer is something that every medical student should sign up for to establish whether going into healthcare is something you truly want to do; your first year at university can offer a lot of insight for you, but being hands-on in these situations can tell you much more. 

3.     You WILL Help People

The determination to help people is arguably the main reason to volunteer in the first place. This desire fits in with the healthcare profession perfectly, so being a medical volunteer is a true sign that helping people and doing whatever possible to improve lives is for you.   

During your time as a medical volunteer, you are going to be listening while people share their apprehensions and ailments with you. You will also be required to provide support and knowledge that will be of use to the healthcare professionals you’re working alongside.  

During your time on placement, the common goal is to assist as best as you can and if that’s something you think you can do effectively, then being a medical volunteer will be a wonderfully gratifying experience! 

4.     Challenge Your Perception of International Medical Work and Healthcare

Seeing, first-hand, the difficult conditions that people live in and the battles they face on a daily basis can be incredibly emotional, but it can be a useful experience to create resilience and a bigger passion make positive changes for those in the world who need them most. 

There’s the chance to transform lives when you are a medical volunteer and that includes your own. You may not realise it yet, but this can happen in ways you can’t even begin to imagine until you have experienced them. 

Are you a medical student who is interested in applying to be a medical volunteer? You get the chance to use and develop your medical training while actively saving lives by volunteering with healthcare teams in various locations in Africa.  

If you think you are ready to become a volunteer abroad, our trip advisors can help you with your entire booking, including, answering any questions you have, helping you to source flights and giving you important safety information. Be part of it!

Other Thoughts

We've always got plenty going on, so why not check out some of our other latest news and thoughts? Or perhaps you're ready to gt stuck in yourself? If so, Apply Now to get in touch with one of our specialist trip advisors.

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