Review Volunteer Joe O'Brien in Kasoa Ghana at the EMT clinic program (MiddleBurry College)
How was the local ABV coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country?
He was excellent. He was always willing to help out, answer questions and show me the routs/how to navigate the streets of Kasoa. The in-country support was great. They were very accommodating with some last minutes changes I had to make.
What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
Program: some of the antibiotics and drugs prescribed to patients made little clinical sense. They would often administer antibiotics that only cover gram-positive bacteria for an illness that was clearly caused by gram-negatives (like gastroenteritis)
Host family: washing my clothes by hands was fun (and different) method that I am used to.
Country: people are extremely religious and actively try to convert you to their religion. it was quite different from the US, where evangelist somewhat looked down upon.
What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
Program: there were nursing students doing their clinicals while I was there. Sometimes there was little work to do, just ask for more taks. It was also frustrating because the staff failed to follow basic hygienic practices. For example, they rarely washed hands between towing patients and didn’t wear gloves.
Host family: the language barrier made it difficult to communicate to get to know the host family better. I was also usually exhausted each day after work.
Country: I wasn’t a huge fun of leaving to bargain for merchandise items. I prefer fixed, standardized prices. People were also very religious.
Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
Gloves, bandages, alcohol swabs lots of purell, BP cuff, stethoscope, glucometer, pulse oximeter
Notebooks, pens, pencils, etc for kids at the orphanage
Personal paragraph about the experience (ABV program testimonial):
I learned a lot about Ghana healthcare and became more independent and confident as a result of overcoming the challenges faced when being in a foreign land oneself.
How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others?
Accommodation: the accommodations were adequate. It could sometimes get hot at night in the room but it was the dry season after all.
Meals: dinners were excellent. Oatmeal everyday became a bit repetitive buy your own snacks if you need some extras.
Security: I always felt perfectly safe + secure!
What was your favorite memory of this trip?
Program: I enjoyed working the night shift as there were less student nurses and therefore more work to do.
Host family: I really enjoyed the weekend excursions with the coordinator – it was like having your own personal guide. His knowledge of the surrounding areas is extensive and impressive.
Country: the lightning storms caused by heat were cool to watch at night.
How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
Sarah was extremely helpful and punctual, she accommodated some of my last minutes changes w/o complaints. I was thoroughly impressed!
What do you think about the reservation system online?
I found it useful and easy to navigate.
Who did you find Abroaderview website and what key words did you use?
I googled “EMT volunteer abroad”. The website was aesthetically pleasing and looking professional.
Are you willing to speak other potential ABV volunteers?