I had the chance to work in the public hospital ”Dr. Leopoldo Pou“ in Santa Barbara de Samaná for one year. Sent by the German Red Cross I helped out in different areas of the hospital where they needed help. That gave me a great opportunity to see how the medical system works in the Dominican Republic. I helped out for six months in the laboratory doing administrative work and helping improve procedures and the workflow. Then I had the chance to help for a few months with the digitalization of the patients' records at the HIV Station, to assist and observe a pediatrician and to assist the doctors and nurses in the Emergency Room.
While the services of the doctors and surgeons from the United States took part three times while I was here, act as a translater for them and assist in surgery. That was a great opportunity and one of the highlights of my voluntary service.
There were not just surgical services for humans but also for animals where I could participate in several times by assisting in the recovery station after the animals came out of surgery.
Beside my work in the public hospital (mostly in the morning), I gave first aid classes to tourist guides, members of the Dominican Red Cross, disabled children, vounteers and teachers in the Mamá Elba School. I also gave a computer class once a week and English classes twice a week to the community.
Regarding the organization itself, I really liked how our coordinator Sebastian supported us with everything. He was always there for us and motivated and willing to help.
I really had a great year here with Aldeas de Paz! I learned a lot of things, not just of medical nature. I would say that this year in the Dominican Republic helped me become more open-minded, more mature, able to integrate myself in another culture and able to live without having access to everything I am used to. It was a great enrichment for my personality.
That is why I can warmly recommend doing a long-term voluntary service at Aldeas de Paz in the Dominican Republic.