Skip to main content

Global Health Careers: Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to test out if a global health career is in you future or not.  In the majority of cases, that first volunteer trip you'll have to pay for yourself.  I would encourage you to do your own fundraising for the trip and not take out additional student loans whenever possible;

So, that first trip.  It can be life changing or reinforce that you really like working in your home country.  In my case, I volunteered while on study abroad through my university.  While I was mostly doing observations, it was enough for me to realize that global health was the way I wanted to go.  In particular, after observing nurses in Mexico and where they worked, I knew I wanted to study human resources development.  

For other students I've had, however, the trip abroad made them realize how important it was for them to work in their own country.  They realized that the problems at home were enough for them to tackle and they felt more comfortable working domestically.  It was an important realization to have because they took the chance to test the waters and found where their passions lay.  

Working abroad and having a global health career can sound great on paper, but until you test it out for yourself, you'll never really know what works best for you --or the people you will serve in those positions.  Get yourself out there, into the world.  It's worth the trip!


Popular posts from this blog

There Are Other Masters Degrees Besides a Nurse Practitioner - Part I

It strikes me that many students and nurses do not seem to know about the "other" masters degree options for nurses.  Everyone seems to want to be a nurse practitioner these days.  Now, that's great news for the primary care provider shortage, but we need nurses with masters degrees who can work in other positions and have other skill sets.
Let's review the other masters degrees in nursing.  Nearest and dearest to my own heart is Nursing Education.  Remember that really cool clinical instructor you had in your entry-level nursing program --that could be you!  Do you like precepting new hires?  Are you the person on your unit who unofficially keeps everyone up-to-date on the latest evidence?  Do you really enjoy patient teaching, whether in the hospital or community setting?  Do you just like to teach?  Nursing education is the right masters for you.  Skills learned in a nursing education masters cannot be learned on the job.  Curriculum writing and program developmen…

The 32 Hour Work Week for Nurses

Sometimes it's nice to see research that confirms a hunch you've had for a few years.  A recent study in Health Affairs, one of the most influential health policy journals in the United States, looked at the effects of 12 hour shifts on patient satisfaction and nurse burnout rates.

Turns out, results are not good.  The longer nurses worked in a day, the less satisfied patients were with the quality of care.  In addition, nurses working 12 hour shifts were more likely to become burnt out than those working fewer hours.

On the overtime policy front, that's good news for nurses.  The study adds just one more reason why mandatory overtime is bad policy.  It should create incentive for staffing units appropriately and closer to the California standards.

From another perspective, we know why nurses like 12 hour shifts.  Let's face it, 3 days a week of work and then a bunch of days off in a row, so many sometimes that you don't have to use vacation days if you can set y…

Here's a Great Study Highlighting the Impact of Racism on Nurses

“I Can Never Be Too Comfortable”: Race, Gender, and Emotion at the Hospital Bedside
That's the title of a new study that just came out in Qualitative Health Research. The study of bedside nurses' diaries of their experiences reveals how nurses experience racism on the job. It comes not just from patients, but also from peers and management.
We have to talk about this more folks. It's time we deal with it better, in every setting.