First day scrubs

Overview

The Summer Institute in Central America trains and places up to 26 program participants to volunteer in the hospitals, clinics, and health outposts of 12 cities/towns. Participants assist with critical medical device repairs, translation of manuals, preventative maintenance, and other services.

Training: Nicaragua

Participants begin with a month in Granada, Nicaragua taking tailored courses in both Spanish and biomedical equipment. Our partner, the Nicaragua Spanish Language School, arranges homestays and provides Spanish courses.  EWH provides instruction on common medical devices and methods for making repairs in Central America. Participants may also visit the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health's central medical equipment agency for training with equipment under the supervision of EWH staff and Ministry of Health biomedical equipment technicians.

The Central America program offers participants an immersive Spanish, cultural and clinical experience.

There are two potential structures for the hospital placements of Central America Summer Institute in 2017. The final structure will be confirmed in early 2017. In both cases, the dates, cost, and training curriculums are the same. Read on for details.

Hospital Placement Structure I: Nicaragua

The program ran on Structure I from 2013 - 2015. Prior to 2013, the Central America program was run in Costa Rica , Nicaragua, and Honduras.

After the first month of training, participants remain in Nicaragua to work with an EWH partner hospital in groups of two or three. The partner hospitals are public Nicaraguan hospitals. In addition to the main departmental (state) hospital, participants have the opportunity to work in other Ministry of Health clinics and health outposts around the department/state they are assigned to.

Participants are typically housed in a homestay during the second month to continue building Spanish and local/cultural knowledge. Some placement towns are urban cities, while some are smaller or more rural. 

Most of the public departmental hospitals in Nicaragua have some form of technical assistance; however, gaps in training and language barriers often prevent effective equipment repair. Participants work closely with Nicaraguan technicians and medical staff in overcoming these hurdles to make equipment repairs, execute trainings, install equipment, or perform other engineering duties for the hospitals. There is usually little to no English spoken in the public hospitals.

Hospital Placement Structure II: Nicaragua & Guatemala

The program ran on Structure II in 2016.

After the first month of training, participants will be divided into two groups: half will remain in Nicaragua to work with private NGO-run clinics or hospitals, and half will fly to western Guatemala to work in public hospitals there. Students will be partnered into groups of two or three to work in their assigned hospital/clinic.

Participants are typically housed in a homestay during the second month to continue building Spanish and local/cultural knowledge. Some placement towns are urban cities, while some are smaller or more rural.

Nicaragua: Some of the NGO-run clinics in Nicaragua are well-funded, but have no technical staff to complete repairs. Others may have some form of maintenance staff, but lack specific BMET (biomedical equipment technology) training or organized preventative maintenance schedules for medical equipment. Participants work closely with Nicaraguan and/or foreign medical staff in overcoming these hurdles to make equipment repairs, execute trainings, install equipment, or perform other engineering duties for the clinics or hospitals. There may be English-speaking staff or other volunteers at these clinics or hospitals.

Guatemala: Most of the public hospitals in Guatemala have some form of technical assistance; however, gaps in training and language barriers often prevent effective equipment repair. Participants work closely with Guatemalan technicians and medical staff in overcoming these hurdles to make equipment repairs, execute trainings, install equipment, or perform other engineering duties for the hospitals. There is usually little to no English spoken in the public hospitals.

To view past participants' photos, videos and blogs, click here!

 

SCHEDULE AND COST FOR 2017

COST: $7150*

*More than half of SI participants typically receive EWH financial aid.

EWH need-based financial aid and other funding sources are available; click here for details.

Cost includes:

 - All tuition fees  - Emergency evacuation insurance 
 - Language training  - Housing for two months
 - Cultural training  - Most meals
 - Pre-departure information and guidance  - Hospital briefings
 - Text book, lab book and all lab supplies  - Tools and hands-on instruction
 - Biomedical Equipment course and lab  - Organized group excursion
 - Tool kits and basic repair supplies  - Full-time in-country staff available 24/7
 - In-country mobile phones  - 24 hour safety hotline

 Cost does not include flights to Nicaragua or medical care insurance

2017 Central America Schedule (May 21 - July 24)

 

EWH Summer Institute begins (May 21)
All participants meet at Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua, Nicaragua, no later than 10 p.m. Meet host families.

Granada, Nicaragua (May 21 – June 20) 
May 22: Orientation and Spanish placement; first technical class; classes begin

Schedule for Monday-Thursday:

8 a.m. - noon Spanish lessons
Noon - 1 p.m. Lunch break
1 - 2 p.m. Lecture: Introduction to Medical Instruments and Measurements
2 - 5 p.m. Laboratory: Working in Developing World Hospitals

 

 

 

 

Schedule for Fridays 
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Field work at local hospital.

May 27: Group Excursion/Tour

Host Hospital (June 21 – July 21)
June 20: Travel to host hospital (flights to Guatemala are provided by EWH, if the program is running on Structure II)
June 21 – July 21: Work in host hospital, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m., or as determined by the hospital supervisor

End of Program Conference (July 22 - 23)

July 22: Return flights from Guatemala to Nicaragua are provided by EWH, if the program is running on Structure II
July 22: By 1 p.m., all participants arrive in Granada, Nicaragua for hotel check-in. Final Conference Day One, 2-5pm.
July 23: Final Conference Day Two

EWH Summer Experience ends (July 20)
Shuttles to Managua Airport

Download application packet here for more details

Island of Ometepe

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