As a veterinary professional, your ultimate aim is to help relieve animals’ suffering by providing the best care possible. Our projects run in places where this is not always possible, and animals may never have seen a vet before in their lifetime. Here’s some top tips for how to prepare before you embark on a veterinary adventure with WVS!
1. Do your research
The best thing about volunteering abroad with WVS as a veterinary professional, is not only will you gain unique insight into a completely different culture, but you will be using the skills you trained hard to develop to help animals that have no one else. You’ll be giving back to a community that may have no access to veterinary care for their animals at all.
Have a think about the countries you’d like to visit, or try limiting your search to the animals you could help. If you’re a small animal vet, take a look at some of our spay and neuter clinics or outreach programmes treating emergency cases in rural areas. Our equine projects in India are brand new for 2018 and are already proving to make a real difference, and our growing number of supported charities, including a wide variety of wildlife projects, means there will be a trip perfect for you, whichever animals you specialise in.
2. Make a list of goals
You know where you want to go, the animals you’ll be helping and you’re now getting ready for a veterinary adventure like no other! But veterinary volunteering is not all about using your skills to give something back. It’s also about learning something new, and challenging your veterinary skills in a different environment, with potentially limited resources in terms of electricity and equipment. Some of our clinics run without electricity, using only daylight and lacking technology you may be used to at home.
Make a list of the things you’re looking forward to and what you’re most interested in learning more about. You are likely to see some patients that may be suffering from illnesses and injuries that are rarely seen back in your home country, and you will learn how different vets tackle challenging patients and how to maximise patient care with limited resources.
Your flights are booked and the time is almost here! Make sure when you’re packing that your clothes are culturally appropriate for the country you’re visiting. It’s also a good idea to check how many scrub tops, or any other professional clothing you need to take, or if these are provided!
4. Share your story
WVS relies on the donations of our wonderful supporters and veterinary participants to fund our important work. Why not share what you’re up to with your friends, family and colleagues and take part in some fundraising before your trip. On your return, share your experience with us through a blog or photos, or you could even contact your local press to give more of an insight into your recent adventure!
5. Talk to others
You’ll likely be working alongside vets, vet nurses and other veterinary professionals from all walks of life and of many nationalities and cultures. Use your time to share stories and knowledge to make your time as rewarding as possible. Veterinary care is often rare in the places that we work, and part of your role will include educating the local community on basic first aid and animal welfare. You will be empowering others by promoting a higher level of animal welfare, whilst enjoying the experience of a lifetime!
To see all our projects and veterinary trips, please click here. If you have any questions about any of our projects or would like more help on how to prepare before your trip, feel free to give the team a call on 01725 557225