Working as a nurse in a field clinic can be some of the most exciting and rewarding opportunities in a nursing career. Field nursing often involves traveling to a third world country or to the site of a major disaster to assist victims. It is demanding and exhausting work. But those who chose to accept the challenge, it can also be deeply satisfying.
Here are just a few of the many things you might find yourself doing as a member of a field clinic:
Helping with pre-natal checkups for expectant mothers.
Assisting with pap smears and other preventative medical procedures.
Performing physical exams and assessments on a wide variety of patients.
Provide vaccines to children (both oral and injected) in conjunction with Public Health officials.
Assisting in wound care and dressing changes for injured victims.
Interviewing patients to determine what medical attention and assistance they might need.
Traveling to remote locations to assist seriously injured patients and then assisting them as they are transported to medical facilities.
These are just a very small sample of the literally numberless opportunities available in a medical field clinic. These are essentially modern-day versions of the famous MASH units made popular by the long-running television program. They can be found in a wide variety of settings, including schools, community centers, churches, homes, and locally-based residences.
They may have only latrines, no electricity except what is available on-hand, little or no running water, and exposure to the elements, heat, and dirt.
Field clinics can even present significant risks, since they are often located in areas close to a recent major disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane. For example, during the earthquakes in Haiti, nurses were right on the front lines, helping the tens of thousands affected by this horrific disaster.
Although field nursing is fraught with risks and challenges, it is also one of the most rewarding adventures available to nurses today.