So this is the final week of looking at the different projects that we here at Starfish Volunteers do. These last few posts will be about one of our most intense projects, and that project is Medical and includes project work for every side of healthcare from physio to nursing and ER to home visits.
Getting ready to help deliver a new born!
In order to work on our medical project volunteers must have completed at least their first year of their relative degree, the reason that we require volunteers to be first year qualified is that on our project, volunteers do undertake practical work which is important to both the health of the patient and the reputation of the hospitals we work with. If volunteers have no knowledge of medical procedures then they would end up being more of a liability as opposed to the amazing benefit that they currently are.
Volunteers really do get stuck in so they must be first year qualified in order to do this
Healthcare is so paramount in Thailand as many people either don’t have the money or the transport to be able to get to the healthcare that they need, another huge issue that faces many Thai people that we work with is their education. The majority of the people that work with us are unaware of why their back hurts or what exactly the bump in their arm is and why it could be life threatening to them, Thai people are notorious for just getting on with life and doing what they have to in order to make their lives livable; this often means that people will just leave their health until the very last and critical moment.
This is often too late for many people, meaning that they live with excruciating conditions that leave them unable to do anything, not only is this incredibly saddening to see but it also makes the patient increasingly more depressed and feel as though they are a burden on their families.
Rachael doing some stitching on a patient who should have attended a clinic much sooner than he did
The way that we here at Starfish are helping these local people is by working along side local health clinics that have been set up by the government. These clinics require volunteers to do health checks, immunisations, sexual health clinics as well as lots of different locally required clinics such as diabetes, hypertension and blood test clinics.
Whitney health checking a baby who is only a few days old! So adorable!
Day to day, volunteers will also work in local clinic buildings which will be visited by villagers who often have work related issues as well as common and sometimes not so common diseases and conditions.
As well as the clinics the volunteers are also very lucky to be able to have the opportunity to work within the local community itself by visiting the homes of patients and some very sick people who are unable to or have decided that they don’t want to attend hospital.
The work that volunteers get involved with is very typical work for medical staff which means that our volunteers get a true feel for healthcare in Thailand and gain experience that many people in the industry do not get to have. Every volunteer we have had on our medical project speaks very highly of the work that they have done and the incredible experience they have gotten.
Whitney giving new supplies of medication to clinics whilst also ensuring their current supplies are in date and up to the standards they should be
Volunteers do need to keep in mind that they are in a second world country that is not as developed as the West and works to a different set of ethics and rules that may at times be confusing or completely different to what they are used to. We do have a member of staff on hand at all time to help you adjust to the new way of life and the way of working within the healthcare industry in Thailand.
The Lane Community College Nursing students on a home visit with a woman who felt the need to bless each and every one of them as a thanks for the incredible donations they gave as well as the free healthcare they provided.
As long as you are open minded and ready to experience the most incredible learning curve then you will have a wonderful and life changing experience with us that you won’t ever forget.
To see what volunteers experience from their own voice take a look at the National Student Nurses Association President, Jesse Kennedy’s blog that he wrote whilst him and his class came to volunteer with us.
To take a look at the Starfish Website to find out more information about our Medical project as well as the other that we do. Have a ganders at the Starfish – Volunteer Thailand Facebook page or the Starfish Tumblr to see some photos of what we are up to everyday.
Build. Protect.Teach. Care. – The Starfish Motto