Being a Health Care Volunteer is an excellent way of supporting the government’s efforts to provide quality healthcare to the community.

As a Nursing or Midwifery intern, in the first week, you will mostly observe the professional staff before being able to participate yourself. In the second to third week, depending on your professional level, you will start observing and/or working under the supervision of the matron and the chief nurse in a variety of natural births, caesarean sections, gynecological and obstetric procedures. You will also have the chance to take part in the following tasks: welcoming and reception of the pregnant women, helping out in the care and support treatment and participate in the management of the health facility systems, especially in information gathering and screening.

Anyone who has the desire can be a volunteer in health care.  However, your role will be determined by your level of medical experience as well as the eagerness and effort that you show to the professional local staff. Pre-university interns usually start by observing the doctors and nurses. However, you may find more practical opportunities arise once you get to know the local professionals and demonstrate a good understanding of local medical conditions.  It is important to build up trust and good relationships with the local doctors.

In both the primary health facilities and at the larger referral hospitals and clinics, Intern Volunteers will find themselves working with patients who have a wide range of illnesses. There are many different departments in the majority of the hospitals we work with, including maternity, general medicine, surgery, and pediatrics. With the support of People and Borders, you can decide if you want to work in a variety of different departments or focus on one in particular.

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The medical experience of interns also varies.  There are some who just have an interest in helping out and there are others who are actively studying medicine in school.  People and Borders welcome any person who has an interest in the field of medicine and the art of healing.

Intern Volunteers also take part in outreach work that often involves travelling to local communities and providing healthcare services that would not otherwise be available.  This is a great opportunity to get involved with valuable community healthcare initiatives.

Your working hours will usually be decided on a weekly basis. Most interns work from Monday to Friday and have the weekends free.

Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.

Gillian Anderson