“When arriving in Arusha, Tanzania I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. But the experience exceeded my expectations. I had the opportunity to volunteer at St. Elizabeth hospital for 2 months in several different wards including pediatrics, surgical/post-op and emergency/outpatient. Everyday I had the chance to work
with very knowledgeable doctors and nurses and learned what it was like to be a health care provider in a third world country. I was able to learn and help out in ways that I wouldn’t have been able to do in the United States.
In pediatrics the doctor we worked with always explained to us in detail about each of the patients conditions, how to examine them, and how to treat them. We were given the chance to examine the patients on our own and test our own medical knowledge regarding what we thought may have been occurring. In the surgical ward I was able to observe my very first surgery of a C-section. During the operation the surgeon took the chance to explain to us in detail what they were doing step by step and explain how the team works together throughout the procedure. When working with post-op patients I was able to treat wounds, clean burns, remove stitches, and work one on one with several patients. In the emergency room I assisted in the first evaluation of the patients by taking all of their vital signs, examining their condition, documenting and triaging them appropriately.
The doctors and nurses were very patient with me and even taught me some Swahili in order to help me communicate and interact with the patients more efficiently. Everyone at the hospital was so welcoming and friendly and taught me so much about the healthcare field. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, and I would recommend this program to anyone who has thought about traveling to another country to help out. One day I hope to return!”