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Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam’s largest city, has completely transformed over the last two decades because 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, nurses or therapists while learning about the hospital’s medical practices and treatment methods. The hospital has an x-ray room, a children’s ward, an adult ward, a physiotherapy department, as well as an operating theatre, all of which participants may be actively involved in. You may also observe staff in the acupuncture and occupational/physical therapy departments. The project will start with an introduction to the hospital equipment, the operating procedures and the staff with whom you will be working. They will then assign you to either a nurse, staff member or a doctor, whom you will shadow for the rest 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, or other hospital staff members.
Please note: because of 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 the exact dates.
Internet: There is Wi-Fi in the accommodation and Internet cafes nearby. We suggest buying a Sim with 4G in Vietnam.
Laundry: Laundry service is available on every Tuesday for an extra fee, or around $1 per kilo.
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 eight people. They are basic but comfortable, with bunk beds. 5 uni-sex bathrooms and 2 single gender bathrooms are available on campus. There is one public self service area with local tea and coffee. Volunteers are required to follow campus regulations, including a 12:00 AM curfew.
Food: Three meals a day are provided and two during the weekend. Meals are typically Vietnamese, but also include some Western dishes.
Culture Week in Ho Chi Minh (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 visit the most atmospheric temple and Cu Chi Tunnel. You’ll take cooking and language lessons, learn about making bracelets and get an understanding of Vietnam’s past, present and future.