Be the Change You Want to See: Humanitarian Benefits of Becoming a Nurse
Nursing programs focus more on the skills it takes to become a competent nurse, but one of the positive side effects of becoming a nurse is the humanitarian aspects and factors that can be pursued. For example, some nurses become involved with human rights groups or with international charity organizations that offer them the chance to volunteer in third world countries, where there is a shortage of nurses and of medical attention and treatment in general.
These charities also offer opportunities for nurses to work in their own countries, helping poor people and the underprivileged in their local communities. Working in humanitarian aspects through volunteerism is one of the great, personal, satisfying benefits of nurse jobs.
The mixing of a desire to travel along with the skills of nursing occupations gives rise to many humanitarian opportunities. Humanitarian opportunities, in turn, provide nurses with numerous benefits that are not just limited to the personal feeling of gratification of lending a helping hand to a destitute and impoverished community in a third world country. Humanitarian opportunities allow nurses to also immerse themselves in foreign cultures, which is an extra bonus if a nurse is particularly fond of traveling and of seeing the world. Another benefit of humanitarian opportunities is that the nursing education that has enabled them to volunteer abroad also enables them to make personal, one-on-one contact with people, which may last well beyond the initial humanitarian mission and even result in long-term friendships.
For many nurses, online nursing programs cannot provide for them what going on a humanitarian mission can provide for them. When nurses go on a humanitarian mission and volunteer their time and their effort, they are not just helping people in their local community or in a developing country. Volunteering with a humanitarian group or charity does not usually provide a paycheck for any of the work performed by a nurse. In that respect, the humanitarian aspect of nursing is a true giving of oneself to another person or community, without the expectation or even want of any compensation for a service rendered.
Online LPN Programs
Online LPN programs cannot prepare a nurse for what the individual is likely to encounter on such a charity mission abroad. Humanitarian trips to foreign countries can include a series of days at an institute such as an orphanage, which is most of the time always in need of extra professional staff. Much of the time, the people in such situations in third world countries are very humble people, and, as a result, nurses should find that they are some of the most gracious people whom they will ever encounter. An experience serving desperate people in a third world country might result in some experiences that nurses from developed, Western countries likely will not be used to or even expect, even if they have taken online RN programs. For example, a common happening is that the lines of the destitute waiting to receive medical care will even form well beyond the front door of the building where charity groups are set up. The list of ailments and medical problems in these poor, third world communities is often extensive and diverse, featuring problems such as amputations, wounds, malaria, tuberculosis and a host of infections that target different parts of the body.
An LPN program can educate nurses on the realities of healthcare that they have to provide for patients in hospitals, but oftentimes what nurses see on the news can inspire them to act in a humanitarian fashion. For instance, when nurses see news coverage on TV about the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, or the 2004 tsunami in Asia, government agencies as well as private humanitarian groups tend to get more inquiries about how health professionals can get involved. Each year alone according to the International Federation of Red Cross, 70 technological disasters and 220 natural disasters occur. There are a lot of chances every year for nurses across the globe to get involved and give of their time to humanitarian causes.
A nursing career can become that much more special if a nurse dedicates some of her time to a humanitarian relief effort. This practice among certain nurses is actually more common than people may think, and the more compassionate and empathetic nurses are usually the ones who volunteer for humanitarian work overseas. Depending on the values of nurses in a particular work environment like a hospital or a hospice, such humanitarian work may even be seen as something that a nurse has to do at least once in her career to really be able to call herself a true nurse. Such humanitarian work also carries with it more practical benefits beyond merely doing selfless work for the really needy in a developing country. Work with a charity or relief organization can be seen as an effective way to increase the esteem of a nurse’s resume.
Richer Career Experiences
A nurse who performs humanitarian work over the course of her career will, in the end, experience a much richer and much more fulfilling career as a nurse. The primary purpose for entering the nursing profession should be because of concern for one’s fellow man and not to make money or advance up the career ladder, though nurses can eventually make a decent amount of money if they become registered nurses. Because of all the humanitarian disasters wreaking havoc across the Earth in any given year, there is no shortage of volunteering opportunities for nurses to support, especially when the news media so starkly transmits images of human suffering on a daily basis. Humanitarian work can be in one’s local community as much as it can be overseas in a developing land, where resources and nurses are in short supply. The people that nurses will encounter in overseas charity missions are some of the most humble and gracious, not to mention appreciative, patients that nurses will ever meet.
To discover more about humanitarian work in nursing, see these links:
- Humanitarian Organizations and Nurses
- Volunteerism and Nurses
- Humanitarian Nursing in the Military
- Volunteering for a Medical Mission
- Impact of Humanitarian Nurse
- Highlights of a Humanitarian Mission
- Challenges of Humanitarian Nurses
- Nurses with a Mission Website