WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Volunteers on this program will be assisting in a health clinic in Tel Aviv founded in 2008 to provide free or heavily subsidized medical care to the growing African population there. The African population that the clinic treats is mostly from Sudan, Eritrea, and Ivory Coast, who have sought a better life in Israel their and families. Many of the patients come from all over Israel seeking affordable health care because they do not legally qualify for the National Health Care coverage and cannot afford to pay out of their own pocket for the necessary medical treatment.
With a recent increase in funding, the clinic has grown into a multi-faceted facility, able to address the variety of health conditions and traumas that it faces on a daily basis, from illnesses that are more prevalent in the developing world such as malaria, jaundice, and dermatological infections and wounds, to illnesses common in the western world such as diabetes and heart conditions.
The clinic is divided into three main departments: emergency care, specialty clinic, and laboratory and tests. The emergency care clinic is staffed with emergency care physicians and paramedics available at all times, equipped to perform suturing, casting, foreign body removal, and administration of IV fluids. The specialty clinic is host to a variety of specialty medical care such as dermatology, ENT, orthopedics, infectious diseases, pediatrics, OB/GYN, family medicine and psychiatry. The clinic is also able to perform basic laboratory tests and imaging results at a very subsidized rate for its patients, giving the doctors some of the basic tools (blood work, X-RAYs, ultrasound, EKG testing) necessary for accurate diagnosis, leading to higher quality of care.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
Your adventure will begin in Jerusalem, where you will be given a comprehensive orientation to prepare you for the period of volunteer work in Tel Aviv. You will be provided with detailed travel advice and taken on a walking tour of the Old City and the famous Machane Yehuda market. We will even provide you with a discount card to experience Jerusalem’s vibrant night-life! The following day you will make your way down to the clinic in Tel Aviv by public transport.
The clinic is in desperate need of volunteer doctors (especially pediatricians, gynecologists, and dermatologists), nurses, phlebotomists, paramedics, medics, medical and nursing students, and general volunteers.
This project is not just for medical volunteers as there are lots of things to be done at the clinic including producing newsletters and running workshops. Those with determination, enthusiasm, aptitude and the right inclination may be able to assist the doctors and nurses in their duties and gain hands-on experience of administering healthcare to the refugee population.
Your level of involvement will depend completely upon your own previous experience and qualifications as well as the needs of the clinic at the time of your visit, so it is important to remain flexible, however volunteers on this project may have the opportunity to assist with:
Checking in patients as they arrive
Scheduling each doctor's patients for the day/week
Maintaining the order of the waiting room
Triaging incoming patients to help determine their immediate needs
A flexible attitude and high level of patience are required for this project as communication with the patients is often quite difficult and requires a lot of creative problem solving to understand the needs of each person in the clinic.
Your typical working week will be from Sunday to Thursday for around 6 hours per day (12 day volunteers will work on Friday as well).