Electives, hospitals, medical schools, NGOs, recruitment agencies, nursing, flights, hotels, elective, voluntary work, UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, The Medics Guide to Work and Electives Around the World, Mark Wilson

 

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Medic's Guide to Work and Electives Around the World - Electives, hospitals, medical schools, medicine, nursing, travel, work,  NGOs, voluntary work, UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Mark Wilson
The Medic's Guide Book

Keeping Healthy While Working Overseas

If just starting to plan vaccinations, then a good place to start is the Department of Health page regarding what is required for specific destinations - click here

You should also make sure you have insurance (or an E111 form if traveling in Eirope/the Commonwealth).

Speak with your own Occupational Health Department to actually get vaccinations and also for advice on HIV post exposure prophylaxis kits if you are going to a high risk area

YOUR MEDICAL KIT:

For gastrointestinal problems:
Loperamide (trade name Imodium): Useful for diarrhoea, although the most important thing to do is keep yourself hydrated. It is useful to relieve pain if nothing else. Take two tablets with the first loose stool and then one for every subsequent one.
Dioralyte: Or other rehydrating mixture, especially if diarrhoea is severe.
Antibiotics: If you note blood with the stool or develop a temperature, a short course of ciprofloxacin should do the trick. If diarrhoea continues (especially if it may be amoebic or giardiasis infection) with nausea, frothy stools and lots of wind metronidazole would be a wise choice.
Cyclizine or prochlorperazine: May help if nausea and sickness is a major problem.
Oral rehydration therapy (ORT): Put one 5ml teaspoon of salt with eight teaspoons of sugar in one litre of CLEAN drinking water and take 1–2 cups with each loose motion.

For allergies/insects:
Chlorpheniramine: (For example, Piriton) or promethazine is handy for most allergies, including those to insect bites. It also helps in motion sickness. It can make you drowsy, but this can also be an advantage if the itchiness is keeping you awake.
Insect repellent: (And often a net) are essential. See malaria. If you’re really prone to being bitten, ‘after-bite’ type remedies are available.

For throat/skin infections:
Augmentin (Or doxycycline) is handy for a bad sore throat, most chest infections and skin that has become infected secondary to bites or sores. Combinations of amoxycillin with flucloxacillin can also be used.

For trauma/pain:
Analgesic: (aspirin or paracetamol or codeine/paracetamol combination). Note the latter can make you drowsy and bung you up … handy when you’ve finished the loperamide.
Bandages and plasters: Handy for blisters.
Syringes and cannulae: These are for the adventurer who is going places you really don’t want to be getting ill. Areas with high HIV and hepatitis levels are not areas to have accidents. Although taking your own cannulae may protect you from contaminated needles, it won’t help you much if it is being used to give you infected blood. If you really are going to take such risks, a bag of gelofusin or similar may be a good idea (although the chances are if you need it, you’re not going to be in a fit state to set it all up).

General things:
c  Sunscreen
c  Water purification tablets/iodine drops
c  Scissors ± tweezers
c  Antiseptic cream/Fucidin ointment

Elective medical packs are available from Trebova Medical Student and Junior Doctor Supplies, 7 Burton Close, Gustard Wood, Wheath Hampstead, Herts AL4 8LU. These include some syringes, Sterets™, cannulae, suture kit, Steristrips™, triangular bandages, pins and scissors. You may be able to obtain these from your school or occupational health department. You are well-advised to carry a letter (get a qualified friend to sign it) stating that you are a medical student or doctor caring medical supplies in case of any trouble with customs.

 
For more information on the hospitals/organisations above check out
 The Medic's Guide to Work and Electives Around the World

Medics Travel
is for doctors, nurses, medical/nursing students and other health professionals wanting to plan work and electives with hospitals,  NGOs and charities overseas. It also lists government and recruitment agencies and has updates for the ultimate guide - The Medics Guide to Work and Electives Around the World - good luck in your travels...and please update this site when you come back!!!
©Copyright MedicsTravel and Mark Wilson 2006