Medical assistants can do more than work in a hospital with the degrees they obtain from a medical assisting college. One example of “more” is to volunteer their skills and services in support of foreign healthcare. There are over a hundred volunteer abroad agencies, each pleading for medical personnel to assist them in bringing health and wellbeing to underprivileged countries. One such place is Kenya, where disease is as populous as the wildebeest.
Among the most troubling diseases are malaria, typhoid, pneumonia, and tetanus. Though treatable, they have raised havoc in Kenya and other African countries for decades. Many doctor assistants have the opportunity to practice the basic training their medical assisting colleges gave them and work alongside other staff to treat infected people. The skills of a medical assistant can be put to use in various healthcare facilities including general medical practices, maternity wards, or even laboratories where patient vitals are analyzed and vaccines are tested.
These assistants have the opportunity to assist in the prevention of Africa’s most startling pandemic: the HIV/AIDS virus. Approximately 1.25 million adults and over 100,000 children in Kenya have been infected with HIV/AIDS. The best cure for this epidemic is through prevention. Assistants can help raise community awareness by volunteering to be an educator, teaching the local people about the virus, such as how it spreads and what measures they should take to stop its progress. Volunteers will also be able to use their medical knowledge by visiting persons infected with the virus and providing emotional support.
Volunteering abroad allows people with degrees from medical assisting colleges to use their skills to reach a broader scope of people. Essentially, medical assistants will be helping more people abroad than they would be locally. More importantly, they will be easing the suffering of one of the world’s most impoverished countries while at the same time lowering its fatality rate due to easily treatable, preventable disease.
But is there another reason to volunteer? Absolutely. Volunteer work is an opportunity to travel and experience other cultures without the exorbitant price tags. Assistants will be immersed in Kenya’s culture and get to take part in unforgettable local customs. What will make this trip so worthwhile, though, are the deeply personal connections that will be made with people through reaching out to them, and using the skills one has acquired through a medical assisting college to make a true, seeable difference in the world.
Meagan Hollman is a writer for Fusion 360, an advertising agency that provides SEO to Ameritech College where the medical assistant program provides students with the knowledge needed to improve foreign healthcare.
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