Medicine and Healthcare Observation & Experience

Non-profit
·
founded in 2001
Fundacion Aldeas de Paz
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Coordinator | Manfred
Coordinator | Manfred
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Experience the Dominican style of live and chill by the rhythm of Caribbean music!
Gain Spanish fluency with the help of our free Spanish classes and share daily life with locals
Become more passionate about your studies and propel your career with international experience!
Make memories you never forget during weekend excursions with your fellow participants!
Enjoy the gorgeous beaches of Samana, climb the mountain peaks of pico Duarte and visit historical sites in Santo Domingos' colonial town!
Work side by side with medical staff at local clinics and be involved with day to day healthcare.This opportunity will give you an insight into the running of a clinic. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 16+
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

MEDICINE AND HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCE & OBSERVATION - Work side by side with medical staff at local clinics and be involved with day to day healthcare

Program Description
Gain invaluable hands-on experience, working side by side with medical staff and fellow volunteers at a hospital or a neighborhood health clinic. This opportunity will give you an insight into the running and daily routine of a hospital or a neighborhood health clinic. You will experience the stark contrast between Western medical practice and the realities of medicine in developing countries. As the hospitals and clinics are still modernizing, there are many challenges faced and as a result you will also see medical conditions that have remained untreated and have developed to an advanced pathological stage. Therefore this project not only provides you with responsibility, it also allows you to broaden your perspective by working at a hospital/health clinic in a developing country. Furthermore, you can gain experience in a range of different departments and activities within the hospital/health clinic, such as: emergency, pediatric, maternity (only female volunteers), diabetes, integral attention & prevention for HIV, tuberculosis and uterine cancer as well as nursing, hospital administration and management assisting with accountancy and helping with statistics. There is also the possibility to work in the hospital pharmacy. You are welcome to also work on our other projects such as the English and computer literacy classes for locals. Your level of possible involvement will largely depend on your Spanish language skills and experiences in the field, as well as your motivation and willingness to get involved. It will also depend on the current needs and tasks at the hospital as we really want to help out wherever our help is needed most. Your work schedule will be created in a meeting with the departmental director and the volunteer coordinator and supervisor. In this process we always try to match your interests and skills with the current situation at the hospital. In order to gain the most out of your experience, and especially if you have a specific health care goal, please contact us in advance to discuss your options in detail. Please keep in mind that hospitalized patient care in the Dominican Republic is much less extensive compared to nursery practices in the western world! It is common to see that family members are expected to take care of their patient at the hospital. 

Volunteer placement, apprenticeship or internship
You can join this program as a volunteer, apprentice or intern. As a volunteer you are free to commit any number of hours per week. That's up to you! As an apprentice or intern however you probably have to fulfill requirements set by your school or university. Please inform us of your school or university internship requirements in advance so that we can work out your personalized work plan together. Also tell us about your personal expectations and goals. We are happy to give students academic credit or provide a report outlining the learning outcomes and deliverables achieved during the placement.

Requirements 
This program is suitable for pre-medical students and students of pharmaceutics as well as nursing students with free holiday time, pre-university students, students taking or planning to take specialist medical courses such as biomedical science, nursing and physiotherapy as well as professionals. The key requirements for a medical volunteer or intern are initiative, enthusiasm, and readiness to work in unfamiliar circumstances. If volunteers have more specialized skills, this will allow for more specialized activities. Basic conversational Spanish skills are required and the more advanced your level of experience and Spanish language skills, the larger the number of opportunities available. To allow a deeper engagement with your placement we offer free Spanish language lessons every week allowing for an enhanced experience as a volunteer/intern with us. Suggestions on what to bring: Please bring scrubs and easy to clean comfortable closed shoes to wear as they are mandatory

Typical day

What to expect
You can join this program throughout the whole year. Working hours will be primarily in the morning when the physicians are at the hospital/health clinic while in healthcare 24 hour rotations are implemented. As with any medical service, volunteers should recognize that their schedules may be subject to sudden changes and are dictated by patients’ needs.

Activities can include but are not limited to 

  • Observing, shadowing and assisting doctors and nurses during their work

  • Participating in patient care: comforting patients and assisting with examinations

  • Providing ambulance support when needed

  • Assisting, teaching and encouraging prevention, hygiene and checkups

  • Assisting in developing educational materials and engagement strategies for various prevention programs using multimedia 

  • Helping regularly with hospital administration tasks and helping improve procedures and workflow

  • Some volunteers may also choose to teach English to the doctors, provided that there is a sufficient number of doctors interested

  • Foreign medical missions visit and work at the hospital several times a year. You may accompany them and translate for them and the patients

Guidelines on medical Issues of the Dominican Republic:

  • WHO report on health care reform in Dominican Republic, 2010
  • Health System of the Dominican Republic, 2011. The website provides an excellent overview of common medical issues in the DR and the government health system. Only available in Spanish.

Free-time activities

Program Highlights

  • Experience the Dominican style of live and chill by the rhythm of Caribbean music!
  • Gain Spanish fluency with the help of our free Spanish classes and share daily life with locals
  • Become more passionate about your studies and propel your career with international experience!
  • Make memories you never forget during weekend excursions with your fellow participants!
  • Enjoy the gorgeous beaches of Samana, climb the mountain peaks of pico Duarte and visit historical sites in Santo Domingos' colonial town!

What makes the Dominican Republic and Samana such a special destiny?
Samana is the name of both the peninsula and its biggest town located at Samana bay in the northeastern part of the Dominican Republic. It is a dramatically beautiful peninsula, like an island unto itself, of coconut trees stretching into the sea. The town of Samana is a scenic, beautiful and peaceful port, with friendly and easy-going Dominicans, living their life with tourism, agriculture and fishing activities, all set to the beat and rhythms of Merengue, Bachata and Salsa music. The Malecon (seaside promenade) of two kilometers length is perfect for strolling by day and night. It is the perfect place to while away the evening in a relaxing atmosphere in one of the many surrounding restaurants and bars. Hundreds of fantastic beaches surround the peninsula of Samana, which can be explored during a day trip or for the whole weekend. Experience the Dominican style of live and chill by the rhythm of Caribbean music!
Other highlights nearby are:

  • Las Galeras y El Rincon - A small fisherman's town with beautiful beaches surrounded by nature. Travel by Bus (45 minutes / US$ 2,-)
  • El Limón - Famous waterfall and swimming. Travel by Bus (20 minutes / US$ 1,50,-)
  • Cayo Levantado - Small Island with beautiful beaches just of the coastline in Samana. Travel by Boat (15 minutes / US$ 2,-)
  • Parque National de los Haiteses - Park made of mangroves, caves with ancient paintings and beautiful bays with pristine beaches. Magnificent limestone caves to explore. Travel by Boat 60 minutes / US$ 10,-
  • Playa El Valle - A small fisherman's settlement with a beautiful beach surrounded by pristine nature. Travel by Moto Concho (MotoTaxi) (20 Minutes / US$ 3,-)
  • Great Kitesurfing beaches near Las Terrenas only an hour from Samana! The whole Peninsula of Samana is a wild and precious natural gem! People are extremely friendly and nature is gorgeous! 
  • Whale-Watching - From mid-January to late March the bay is home to some of the world's best whale-watching

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/
Music
Sightseeing
Diving/
Snorkling
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Climbing
Safari/
Zoo
Hiking
Museum/
Opera
Sports
Riding
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
This program is suitable for pre-medical students and students of pharmaceutics as well as nursing students with free holiday time, pre-university students, students taking or planning to take specialist medical courses such as biomedical science, nursing and physiotherapy as well as professionals. The key requirements for a medical volunteer or intern are initiative, enthusiasm, and readiness to work in unfamiliar circumstances. More specialized skills will allow for more specialized activities
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Fundacion Aldeas de Paz

Financial Contribution & Benefits 
Aldeas de Paz works hard to keep the required financial contribution to an absolute minimum and offers financial transparency by practicing an open book policy. We encourage longer stays, recognizing that longer stays lead to more productive volunteer work, whereby more energy and time is donated in place of money! We offer free Spanish language classes, a double room at one of our fully equipped guesthouse apartments, personal airport welcome, pick-up & transfer to the bus, bus fare and free transfer to your placement location in Las Terrenas or Samana. If you wish a single room upgrade add €50 per week and an all in Host Family homestay upgrade is €150 per week, including a private bedroom and two meals per day. This is included:

  • Volunteer or Internship placement
  • Personal airport welcome, pick-up & transfer to our location
  • Fully equipped Accommodation, free WiFi & and laundry
  • Placement introduction, supervision, certificate, student credit
  • Free regular Spanish lessons throughout your placement
  • Full support and 24/7 backup from local staff
  • Information about adventure packages & in-country travel

Special Offer 
Volunteers and interns receive free language lessons throughout their placement duration. Classes focus on developing four basic communication skills: listening, comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to speak Spanish right from the very first day, using it in typical real-life situations as soon as they step outside the classroom where learning continues as they are immersed in the Spanish language and the Dominican culture.

Airport Pickup at Las Americas International Airport

About your Placement Location
The Aldeas de Paz Foundation headquarters are located in the villages of Samana and las Terrenas, located at the heart of Samana province and peninsula in the north-eastern corner of the Dominican Republic. These villages with about 15000 inhabitants are very peaceful and safe and are constituted by a community with a strong sense of social responsibility. The people themselves consider their towns very safe, there is no more crime here than in any average small European town. The Dominican Republic's countryside as a whole is very peaceful, and certainly one of the safest regions in the Caribbean.

Travel Logistics
The Foundation will do everything to make sure our volunteers remain safe during their arrival and stay in the Dominican Republic. On arrival at the airport you will be welcomed by our english speaking driver who will help you personally during your transit from the airport to the bus terminal granting you peace of mind and tranquillity. The driver will purchase your bus ticket while you catch the direct and comfortable bus to Samana, your placement location. Travel-time on the bus is two hours only. On arrival at the placement location, fellow volunteers and our Staff will welcome you and bring you to your accommodation.

Accommodation

Our Volunteer Guesthouse Apartments
The Foundation’s popular volunteer guesthouse apartments are located in the center of the seaside towns of Samaná and las Terrenas, both scenic, laid back and peaceful towns, with friendly and easy-going Dominicans, living their life with tourism, agriculture and fishing activities, all set to the beat and rhythms of Merengue, Bachata and Salsa music. Our Volunteer Guesthouse Apartments are extremely conveniently located only a few minutes from school or the hospital, the village center and to the beaches and the Malecon, the gorgeous seaside walking promenade, where you will find a lot of restaurants, bars and shops. The villages and their surroundings are very safe and our apartments in Samana and Las Terrenas have lovely neighbors who constantly look after us. All important locations are only minutes away and it’s safe to walk at night. A shared room with two beds is the standard option. Upgrades are available for single room occupancy. Free wifi and use of a washing machine is, of course, standard at all Aldeas de Paz facilities. All our apartments are fully furnished and have WIFI and washing machines. Living together with volunteers from all over the world is a unique chance for cultural exchange and can be an exciting and new way of living compared to anything you’ve ever experienced before. It has certainly been a key experience in the lives of many past volunteers! Volunteers work and live together and learn how to be empathetic and considerate of others’ needs. They often share their free time, house cleaning tasks and cooking (optional). It means they also become close, develop lifelong friendships and have immense fun along the way! We feel that it is important to highlight that we have created an environment of respect and consideration.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) in Santo Domingo. We assist you to find cheap flights to Dominican Republic.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Dominican Republic provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Dominican Republic you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Dominican Republic.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Availability
This program is ongoing throughout the whole year

Time Commitment
A minimum time commitment of 2 weeks is required and can be extended up to one year 

Placement Location
Samana & Las Terrenas

About your Placement Location
The Aldeas de Paz Foundation headquarters are located in the villages of Samana and las Terrenas, located at the heart of Samana province and peninsula in the north-eastern corner of the Dominican Republic. These villages with about 15000 inhabitants are very peaceful and safe and are constituted by a community with a strong sense of social responsibility. The people themselves consider their towns very safe, there is no more crime here than in any average small European town. The Dominican Republic's countryside as a whole is very peaceful, and certainly one of the safest regions in the Caribbean.

Travel Logistics
The Foundation will do everything to make sure our volunteers remain safe during their arrival and stay in the Dominican Republic. On arrival at the airport you will be welcomed by our english speaking driver who will help you personally during your transit from the airport to the bus terminal granting you peace of mind and tranquillity. The driver will purchase your bus ticket while you catch the direct and comfortable bus to Samana, your placement location. Travel-time on the bus is two hours only. On arrival at the placement location, fellow volunteers and our Staff will welcome you and bring you to your accommodation.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,427
3 weeks
$1,614
4 weeks
$1,802
5 weeks
$1,987
6 weeks
$2,174
7 weeks
$2,361
8 weeks
$2,547
9 weeks
$2,734
10 weeks
$2,921
11 weeks
$3,107
12 weeks
$3,293
13 weeks
$3,481
50 weeks (max. stay)
$3,660
Average fees
$393 /week

The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Fundacion Aldeas de Paz will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Fundacion Aldeas de Paz during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Fundacion Aldeas de Paz cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Fundacion Aldeas de Paz.

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Medicine and Healthcare Observation & Experience

Work side by side with medical staff at local clinics and be involved with day to day healthcare.This opportunity will give you an insight into the running of a clinic.

$323/week

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