Options for an EMT-B to volunteer/work abroad (Africa, Asia, caribean?)
June 2, 2014 6:05 AM   Subscribe

I would like to find websites, or lists of opportunities to work or volunteer in an impoverished area as an EMT-B (EMT Basic). Details, tips, advice, all are welcome. Thanks.
posted by crawltopslow to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd say Doctors Without Borders, they don't specifically say that they need EMT-B, but I'll bet they could find a use for you.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:13 AM on June 2, 2014

The skillset of an EMT-B (I am one) is very narrow and explicitly designed to be used under medical direction in situations where definitive care is readily available. You (nor I) don't have the skills to useful in a medical context in a developing country. The money you would spend on a plane ticket could be better used to pay the salary of a native doctor or nurse in the developing world. That is true even for most first world doctors and nurses - skills and knowledge for dealing with medical problems in a first world context don't automatically translate to resource poor environments with tropical diseases and poverty related maladies, especially for a short term (1 month-1 year) visit.

I would encourage you to become an RN, NP or Dr if you are interested in working in impoverished areas. Even then you will likely be more effective if you work with the impoverished in your own community/country, unless you develop a very specific skillset that is needed elsewhere.
posted by ChrisHartley at 8:43 AM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Doctors Without Borders specifically does not recruit for EMTs.

You may have some luck looking at sites like Volunteermatch. For example, here's an orphanage in Cameroon looking for EMTs.

Having worked in the international development field (and as an EMT myself) I would caution you that most opportunities you find are likely to be self-funded (that is, you are paying to volunteer). Which is fine if that's what you want. But flying an expat in and sheltering/feeding/etc. him/her is an expensive proposition and most organizations would rather use funds to recruit and train locals who will stick around.
posted by charmcityblues at 5:13 PM on June 2, 2014

FWIW idealist.org lists jobs/volunteer opportunities globally
posted by macbookair at 11:54 AM on June 7, 2014

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