Volunteer Nursing Abroad
Caring. Kind. Compassionate. Advocate.
Whether nursing abroad or at home, the primary role of a nurse is to fiercely advocate for individuals during their care and support them through health and illness. That’s why each medical mission with IMR provides an opportunity for our nursing staff to bring health and hope to their patients. IMR nurse volunteers are essential to the success of our medical mission trips. Whether you are a CNA, LPN, RN, BSN or you have a particular nursing specialty such as women’s health, pediatrics, geriatrics, wound care, or ICU, our patients need your expertise, skills, and care!
While IMR nurses come from various backgrounds, a common thread among nurses and many medical professionals is the lack of time available to spend with their patients in the work setting. But on IMR medical missions abroad, nurses are afforded the time they need and want to spend with each patient.
Another stark contrast our volunteers nursing abroad discover compared to working at their home clinics is their patients’ willingness to accept education. The genuine gratitude our patients express to volunteers teaching sustainable health practices is truly very humbling and rewarding.
Many of our IMR volunteer nurses have rekindled their love for their scope while on a medical mission. So many have been burned out from recent patient workload ratios, ever-changing administrative policies, and just not feeling valued in their employment experience. Their experience abroad helps to re-energize them.
If any of this resonates with you as a nurse, we hope you can find the time to join IMR on an international medical mission. See the world, provide compassionate care to thankful communities, and reconnect to the reason why you chose such a brave profession.
We would love to connect you to fellow IMR nurse alumni to share their IMR experiences with you.
What is Nursing Abroad Like with IMR?
Let Corrine, an RN, show you around clinic.
IMR clinics include three basic components: acute medical care, acute dental care, and community health education. Our teams consist of a variety of medical and non-medical volunteers, including medical providers, dentists and dental staff, PAs, NPs, nurses, EMS, non-medical personnel, and an IMR staff clinic director. The make-up of each team is unique and the services we provide to patients are, in part, specialized to meet the expertise within the team.
Nurse volunteers with diverse talents and skills fill a variety of roles. These roles include triage, pharmacy, lab, and wound care, as well as help to perform wellness checks for patients who come to our clinics. Many patients present with multiple chief complaints or are unable to articulate exactly what is the problem, but our nurses are able to utilize clinical interviewing to gain insight.
As I sit at the airport waiting for my long journey back home, I can’t help but to reflect upon my mission this past week while fighting back tears.
This week I’ve learned life lessons that can’t be taught.
I've learned that one person truly can make a difference in someone’s life. I've learned that no matter how big or small, an act of kindness goes a long way. I've learned that you can never know the struggle a person is going through unless you take the time to listen and understand. I've learned to withhold judgment, you never know what it’s like in someone else’s shoes. (If they even have them.) I've learned that hugs and smiles are a universal language. I've learned that no matter how bad the day, it could always be a lot worse. I've learned to be grateful and humble.
This week I have held complete strangers in my arms. I’ve been hugged so hard I can feel the love radiating. The smiles I have seen can bring sunshine to any stormy day. This week I have met people so poor, but so rich in love and happiness.
A piece of my heart will always be here in Africa.
We say "see you later" to the many people who have watched over us this week as they changed our lives. We remember the sights and the smells, the sounds and the light. We know we can change the world one kind act at a time and we know we have changed ours forever.
We remember that everyONE matters. We think of the hands we held, the joy we shared, the tears we held back, and the ones we let fall down our cheeks.
Farewell beautiful and wonderful and peaceful South Africa. You will never stand apart from us but will forever be with us.
Join Us in Making a Difference.
You can join an IMR medical mission team or donate today!