What missions do you have available?
A: Please check out website homepage or Facebook for upcoming mission announcements, or sign up for our newsletters to be among the first to receive this information. Though we may be in the process of coordinating missions, we make them public as soon as we finalize the mission, and therefore kindly ask that you use these sources to see what missions we have coming up.
How do I get to go on a mission?
If a mission has been announced, please go to our volunteer sign up at https://cardiostart.org/volunteer-interest-form/ and formally apply for the mission you would like. Note: we only accept applications for official missions.
Do you only take medical volunteers?
No. For every mission we also take along 1-2 volunteers that help us gather research on the work we do. This role is responsible for the collection of data from the patients, and putting it into a database, therefore this position does not require medical expertise, though it is helpful. At times, we have also taken along non medical volunteers who propose a skill for an Outreach mission we plan to conduct, or to help with media and photography or translating.
What will I need for the application process if I am contacted?
It is helpful to check these documents before you apply. Often, many volunteers are accepted, only to realize then that their passport is set to expire or they will need to order another copy of their license. For all medical volunteers we will ask for the following documents: updated CV, proof of board certification or board registration, current medical license or local registration, color personal photo, and a color copy of your passport.
Does CardioStart get the Visas for us?
A: You will be responsible for checking the requirements for obtaining you’re a Visa and procuring one on your own if necessary. CardioStart does not obtain one for you.
What costs are covered by CardioStart and what am I responsible to pay for?
CardioStart ensures that during the mission, the hotel, breakfast and lunch are covered for the volunteers. Airfare, Passport & visa fees, and dinner is often at your own personal expense as are other incidentals such as medications or water, however many will find the cost of living far below what they are used to, and much is often very inexpensive.
Can I arrive earlier to the mission or stay later?
Often, many of the places we visit are beautiful! And throughout the mission there is much work to do and so sightseeing is limited. It is only expected that many will want to see the country we are visiting for themselves on a personal journey. We ask that all personal vacationing occur after the mission, and CardioStart cannot help you with your travel plans.
What are the missions like?
The days can be long, but the work we are able to do is amazing. Many report making incredible friends, and feeling like they truly impacted the lives of both the patients and hospital staff. Please see some of our Volunteer Testimonials.
What’s the best place to get Travel Health Insurance?
A: We cannot comment on what is the BEST place but two frequently used resources are: Posted on our website is a document with many sources. 1. Insurance Services of America 800-647-4589 or www.missionaryhealth.com 2. Travel Guard by Chartis.
Will we have difficulty communicating with local hospital staff?
A: There may be times when language barriers can be frustrating; however we have found that so much communication can be nonverbal that this has never truly inhibited us. Furthermore, on every mission we do ensure translators present to assist.
Q: What supplies do I need to bring for the mission?
A: You may be asked by leadership to carry supplies from the U.S. to assist the mission. i.e. perfusion or nursing items. You will be provided documents that verify clearance by the Ministry of Health. For your own use, please bring a stethoscope if you use one, a box of gloves and hand gel. If there are any resources you prefer for medication look up or procedures you are welcome to bring it.
What shots should I have?
A: Immunizations (Mayo Clinic Travel Clinic Recommendations). Please see your local Travel Medicine Clinic or health department. Note: some vaccinations require multiple doses over periods of time, please discuss with your health professional the process for your vaccinations.
Are these missions safe?
There is a large chance that the mission could be located in areas with travel advisories. Please go to travel.state.gov and the CDC.com websites, to read the latest travel warnings for the area of the mission you wish to apply to. However, though we cannot expect the unexpected, we do take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of our volunteers. Security if necessary, is provided at the hospital and/or the hotel is necessary.