Q. Do I have to be a healthcare provider to participate in a trip
A. No... it is vitally important to have team members who do many tasks required of a team. Fitting of reading glasses, helping with pharmacy and lab, helping take blood pressures, height and weight, just to name a few, can easily be done by non-healthcare providers.
Q. Is there much walking/hiking on this trip
A. Not a lot – but – in most international countries – and especially in the underserved areas, there may be some walking/hiking depending on the location. We generally say that it is important to be able to walk at least ¼ mile.
Q. Do I have to arrive and depart the country with the team?
A. No, you can travel independently before or after a trip. You will need to make all arrangements for your independent travel yourself. You must, however, arrive at the designated trip beginning site at the required time. If you are joining the group at another time, it is your responsibility to meet up with the team.
Q. I have family/friends who would like to donate to my trip. How can this be done?
A. That is easy. They can go to the Deposit/Final Payment tab under Join a Trip and there is a place they can easily donate to a particular person or to a particular project. Additionally, they can send a check to Power of a Nickel 4520 S Birmingham Place Tulsa, OK 74105.
Q. When should I purchase my airline ticket?
A. Whenever you wish. Some may use frequent flier miles so this should be done as soon as possible. Airlines are really unpredictable - will they increase fares or decrease? Who knows! Please make sure you understand the day, time, and location the group is to meet before you purchase your ticket. Many destinations are quite a distance from the airport and the group will be traveling together. If you do not arrive at the designated time, it is your responsibility to meet up with the group at another location. (you will have a list of contacts to reach in case of flight delays, etc.)
Q. I have a medical condition that I am concerned about with this trip…. I have a food restriction…. I have a physical limitation…..
A. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org We will discuss the issue and try to resolve the situation. In most cases we are able to make accommodations. But, realize that we are in developing countries and there may be obstacles to handle that we don’t have here in the US.
Q. Can I have a private hotel room?
A. Sometimes that is available for an additional cost. Other times, depending on numbers of persons in the group and available hotel rooms, it is not possible. Please advise us when you apply if you have this request.
Q. Can I have a specific roommate?
A. We will do our best to accommodate your request. Because of space limitations, that may not always be possible. Please advise us when you apply if you have this request. You should also be aware of your school’s policy of co-habitation. If you are not on your vacation time, and are on “school time”, you are bound by their rules. Power of a Nickel does not take responsibility for participants following their school rules… it is your responsibility to do so.
Q. I have medical insurance - do I have to purchase evacuation insurance?
A. Yes, you need to an evacuation policy. It is a requirement of Power of a Nickel that each participant have an evacuation policy. You may purchase this through any vendor and sometimes medical school policies will cover evacuation from an international destination.
Q. What can I expect from the different "roles" of physician/NP/PA, dentist, nurse, "helper"?
A. Physician/NP/PA : We typically operate as an acute care clinic, caring for skin disorders, reflux, aiding in the diagnoses of and education of hypertension, diabetes or other chronic illnesses, wound management, etc. We do not treat chronic illnesses such as hypertension or diabetes because those patients need to have ongoing care thus we facilitate their entry and maintenance into local healthcare facilities - but we do offer educational opportunities to those patients about their disease. We typically do not offer surgical care as follow-up by our team is difficult. We do facilitate care with local healthcare providers.
Dentists: Because dental care is difficult to impossible to obtain in the areas we serve, a dental team member is such a blessing. Typically tooth extraction is the most valuable care that a patient can have. While it may not be the "norm" in the US, it can be the best treatment for painful dental problems.
Nurses: On most trips we do not have a pharmacist or pharmacy tech. Nurses fill that role with the proficiency needed to provide accurate dispensing and dosing education to the patients. Nurses also can help teach the medical students so much about delivering healthcare from a holistic point of view. They may also be used in the laboratory, intake and triage, as well as assisting with gynecological exams.
Helpers: Without "helpers" the team could not function well. Helpers may be pre-med /dental students, physician wives, adolescents of family team members, or absolutely anyone who would like to join our team. We have had boat captains, CFO's, owner of a fence company, Arby's owner, real estate agent, and teachers among our helpers - each always provides unique skill sets that can be used. So... no matter what your background - you can be an asset to the team. Because the make up of each team is different, the specific needs will depend on many factors such as the trip site, the needs of the community we will be serving and the requests of the community. Examples may be crowd control, fitting of reading glasses, assisting with education of patients, assisting in the pharmacy, and providing activities for the children.