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Using Your Skills for Good: Volunteerism Opportunities in Nursing

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The news has been filled with images of devastated communities in the wake of hurricanes and other natural disasters. Communities are ravaged by flooding and storm damage, and many of the residents have been displaced to shelters. Along with the homes that have been damaged, many hospitals, medical offices, and other healthcare facilities are dealing with the same aftermath and struggle to serve their patients. Volunteer nurses are stepping up to assist and helping to take the burden off of local caregivers.

Nursing skills are highly sought after following a major event such as a hurricane or earthquake but this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many volunteer opportunities available for nurses. Though medical professionals are in the business of saving lives, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to share those skills with those in serious need who may not be able to access the care that they require. Here are just a few of the ways that you can get involved with using your skills as a health care professional to give back to the world:

Disaster Relief

Whether home or abroad, natural disasters create many opportunities for us to help our fellow human beings, and those who are able to share their skills as a medical professional can be of serious assistance in affected communities. From assisting with casualties in emerging situations to taking the place of local medical staff so that they can deal with the aftermath of the disaster within their own home, volunteer nurses are a huge relief in the disaster events.

Developing Countries

If you have ever wanted to see the world, volunteering with a humanitarian organization to help bring health care services to the impoverished is a wonderful way to travel while giving back. There are a variety of needs, particularly in South America, Africa, and some parts of Asia, opening the doors for all types of nursing specialties. Whether you’re looking for a long-term volunteer placement or just a short stay in a foreign country, you can find a meaningful opportunity that will enhance many lives.

Local Community Needs

When you are more pressed for time and can’t afford to give days or weeks to an organization, there are local community organizations that are just as worthy and in need of volunteers. Community health clinics that serve the homeless, elderly, and the impoverished right here at home could desperately use whatever hours you can spare. These groups often serve those who fall through the bureaucratic cracks who cannot get public assistance and cannot afford their own health care costs.

Special Interests

Do you have a cause that holds a special place in your heart? Look for local organizations that provide women’s health services, care for HIV/AIDS patients, services to the elderly, and other specific health care fields. These organizations who reach out to those in need of medical assistance would be more than grateful to have your experienced hands on deck.

Contributor Ron Washburn

Ron is currently the executive vice president of Soliant and has been with the company for more than 28 years now. He oversees our nursing and allied health division and has been with Soliant since its small beginnings in the early 90s. He’s an integral part of our organization, and not only hosts trainings for our groups but manages company events and continues to run a desk of clients and candidates. He is experienced in contract placement, recruiting, permanent placement and internet recruiting within the healthcare industry. Ron possesses a Master's degree focused on Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship from Georgia State University. Don’t forget to check out the rest of his blogs!