United States, Emergency Nurse
Volunteered January 2024
I spent 4 weeks volunteering with MediTrip in Arusha, Tanzania. This is a public and busy hospital that aslo gets many referral from the other private hospital in Arusha and provide teaching to the medical interns and students.
As an experienced Registered Nurse, I was grateful to be placed in such a busy ER which was divided in outpatient and resuscitation rooms. If patients presenting were “little” sick, as in able to walk and talk, they were immediately sent to the outpatient entrance. The “big” sick patients were immediately taken back to one of our 3 resuscitation rooms – male, female and pediatric – without stopping for triage. While we evaluated the medical or trauma needs, the family/friends would register the patient. If life threatening, we would start treatment and if only urgent, the doctor would write for needed supplies and medications thus treatment would wait until paid supplies arrived at bedside. We had an ultrasound, ECG machine, suction and ventilator available in the hallway, but were always searching for gloves, IV cannulas, fluid and tubing. I was very impressed with the ability to work rapidly and expertly in saving a life regardless of of the supply obstacles, and did during my time there.
The entire medical staff were very welcoming and grateful for the assistance offered and open to learning new skills. I had a wonderful experience joining the ER team.
During that time, I stayed at a hostel in Sakina with other volunteers and leaned to get to and from work on available transportation and enjoy life in Arusha despite the frequent electricity shut offs. The hostel staff were very helpful and willing to go the extra step.
People in Tanzania face poverty, lack of resources and obstacles to improving their health and lives, but remain welcoming and friendly.
All and all it was a great experience and would recommend it to everybody.