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Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam’s largest city, has completely transformed over the last two decades as a result of Doi Moi, the 1986, widespread economic reform. It went from a war-ravaged city to a flourishing metropolis, putting it in a position to rival Bangkok and other Asian powerhouses. The city’s gushing success can be seen in its five-star restaurants, fancy hotels, topnotch bars and clubs and luxury shops. However, much remains to be done to improve and expand the social and health services for its residents.
This project offers the opportunity to observe Vietnamese doctors while learning about the hospital’s medical practices and treatment methods. The project will start with an introduction to the hospital equipment, the operating procedures and the staff with whom you will be working. You will then be assigned to either a nurse, staff member or a doctor, whom you will shadow for the remainder of your placement.
Some of your tasks may include:
A typical day: You will be at the hospital five-six hours per day (not including travel time), Monday-Friday. There is usually a two-hour break. Depending on the needs of the hospital at the time and your level of medical experience, you will shadow doctors performing medical procedures, shadow other hospital staff members and/or participate in everyday tasks.
Although weekends are free, you do have the option to volunteer at the hospital on Saturday and Sunday.
Please note: Due to patient safety and local licensing regulations, this placement is primarily a shadowing opportunity. Not all doctors have a high level of English.
Holidays: During public holidays, volunteers can join the local celebrations. Please inquire about exact dates.
Internet: There is WiFi in the rooms as well as Internet cafes nearby.
Laundry: Affordable laundry services are available close to the accommodations.
Accommodations: You will stay in the dormitories of a college campus. There is an air- conditioner in every room. Rooms are single-gender and shared with up to six people. They are basic but comfortable, with bunk beds. There are eight shared showers – four hot and four cold – and a western-style toilet in each room. There are several common areas, including a terrace overlooking the city, a cafe and a creative corner with paint and guitars. Volunteers are required to follow campus regulations, including an 11:30 PM curfew.
Food: Three meals a day are included and served at a restaurant on campus. Meals are typically Vietnamese, but also include some Western dishes.
Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:
Culture Week (Highly Recommended):
For an additional fee you can extend your stay for a week, with a program designed to introduce you to Ho Chi Minh and Vietnamese culture, as well as give you time to get to know the other volunteers. During the week you will visit some of Vietnam’s iconic landmarks, market places and even go to a traditional water puppet show. You’ll take cooking and language lessons, learn about traditional jewelry techniques and get an understanding of Vietnam’s past, present and future.