Medical volunteer in a community hospital in Nepal
We have multiple opportunities to volunteer in a medical setting in Nepal. The first is in a non-profit, community hospital in Kathmandu. The 100-bed community hospital provides quality care at prices the average Nepali citizen can afford, and for the poorest they offer subsidised and free treatment.
Their mission is ‘to provide sustainable, affordable, quality health care services, for the poor & needy people of urban and rural Nepal’. They achieve this through running the hospital in Kathmandu plus a number of satellite clinics in rural areas. As well as providing local outpatient services, the satellite clinics promote the affordability of the hospital, meaning many patients undertake long journeys to access the high quality but affordable care provided at the hospital.
In a typically chaotic looking environment, housed in an expanded residential block, the hospital nevertheless provides a full range of services, from general medicine, pediatric & maternity services, gynae/obstetric, orthopaedic, ENT, cardiology, dermatology, neurology, minor & major surgery including neuro, plastic and reconstructive surgery, ICU, physiotherapy, family planning and DOT. The hospital is currently moving to a new hospital that will offer more space and a better working environment in time.
Student nurses and medical students are welcome to work in the hospital, gaining experience across a range of disciplines, as well as very real experience of working in a hospital in a developing country.
A second volunteer opportunity exists to work in a 500 bed children’s hospital, working with the children of Nepal. This is a large state run hospital which provides a different perspective to the healthcare system. In addition volunteers can also work in a rural District hospital, gaining further insight to Nepali healthcare in a hospital where more actual support is required of the volunteer.
Depending on the time available to the volunteer, you may be able to experience working in multiple settings with local agreement.
Both hospitals will accept qualified nurses, but you will be required to gain a Nepali Nursing Council licence to practice, which much be applied for locally, and this will still require you to have a level of monitoring.
Volunteer nurses would work under the Nursing Director and would develop a programme of activity that matches both the volunteer’s interest and their capabilities.
Medical students would be under the direction of Dr Gupta, the hospital’s Executive Chairman, who would develop a tailored programme of activity to circulate the student around the various departments in the hospital and to meet any specific interest areas of the volunteer, as well as the resource needs of the hospital.
Medical students would have the opportunity to gain experience across a variety of medical disciplines, spending time in those areas that they perhaps wish to specialise in future. All the doctors speak English, so there is a real opportunity to engage and learn directly from the experience.
Medical volunteers would of course only be able to perform duties that they are qualified for, but would receive some training to expand their capabilities.
Medical students and nursing students have the opportunity to learn from the experience, but also contribute nursing resources and assistance to the doctors.
Qualified volunteer nurses provide extra capacity to a non-profit organisation with limited resources, but can also potentially assist with the transfer of skills and knowledge from their previous experience, as many of the local nurses will be recently qualified volunteer nurses. This capacity provides a greater level of care to the patients, and potentially enables the exchange of best practices with the local staff.
Hand on heart the best 3 months of my life... what a country, what a village, what a nation. I have never felt so at home somewhere so foreign., Rural teaching in Nepal