Midwifery – Dominican Republic (Worldwide Volunteering)
BSc (Hons) Midwifery
Brittany took part in a two week volunteering project in the Dominican Republic for her midwifery elective placement.
Experience working abroad
"I chose to go with Gap Medics to the Dominican Republic as part of my elective placement, as it was the only company which offered a placement in midwifery in a country different from the typical places such as Africa and Asia. An added bonus was that I would be able to explore the tropical Caribbean island and enjoy the weather when having free time.
Gap medics organised everything from placement, accommodation and food so I did not have to do anything apart from book my flights.”
“I enjoyed my placement as I had amazing English speaking mentors, who were happy to answer questions and interpret everything that was seen. Without them I would have struggled. Also, I was able to make some amazing friends, who all were passionate about healthcare as I was, regardless of the different specialities.”
Differences between Dominican Republic and the UK
“They have shorter working days, and basic knowledge of obstetrics is evident, but the way they practice is completely different to Birmingham/UK. There is no such thing as a midwife as obstetric doctors perform all births and nurses tend to be similar to HCA’s.
There is a lack of resources, high risk of infection control, no care, compassion, maintaining dignity or respecting privacy when it comes to pregnant women, which was hard to see.”
“What I experienced and saw, will shape me in my career, as it made me want to be the best practitioner as I can be and never fall in to the habit of bad practice. My experience made me also appreciate our NHS health care system a lot more.”
Advice to students considering an international experience
- “If you have any reservations about taking part in an international experience put them doubts to the back of your mind, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and it’s a great experience you will never forget.”
- “It may seem expensive but it is worth it.”
- “Go with an open mind and an understanding that some places are less fortunate in education and resources, not everything you see, will mimic what you see in the UK and there will be situations where what you see will shock you. Don’t let what you see put you off doing from becoming or having the career you want in the future.”