At the District Volunteer Forum of the Central Federal District DerzhavinTambov State University presented an unprecedented for Russia program "Integration of foreign students into volunteering in the field of health care."
The need for its creation arises from the active development of medical volunteering in Russia, in particular the All-Russian Social Movement of Volunteers in Healthcare Service "Medical Volunteers". In Russia, thousands of foreign citizens are studying at the moment, who want to be engaged in medical volunteering. Appropriate methodological developments are necessary for them, and it is Derzhavin University that is creating them.
“Involvement of foreign students in volunteering is very promising,” says Pavel Savchuk, Chairman of the All-Russian Social Movement of Volunteers in Healthcare Service "Medical Volunteers". “It is important to involve the maximum number of people of any level of education and social status in a healthy lifestyle. Of course, it should also be foreign citizens. For example, in Tambov State University, there are about 2,500 foreign students who can be a complement and strengthening of the volunteer unit in the region.”
The program for the integration of foreign students in volunteering in the field of health care, developed at Derzhavin University, is aimed at solving important problems. Such as rendering assistance to medical personnel in medical institutions, attracting foreign students to social initiatives in different regions of Russia, and early integration of foreign students into the profession and their self-realization.
Methodical developments are based on the experience of the Medical Institute of the Derzhavin University. Foreign volunteers have long been carrying out systematic work aimed at the prevention of socially significant diseases and a healthy lifestyle. For example, they were the organizers of the campaign “Volunteers-doctors against the flu”, “Youth for a healthy lifestyle”, and “Breathe freely”.
Foreign medical students at Derzhavin University help ambulance teams in medical attendance of sports and mass events. For several years, they have been conducting master classes “I am a doctor” and “Medicine abroad” in the educational institutions of Tambov, thus popularizing the profession of a doctor among students.
“My father has heart problems, so since my childhood I have been dreaming of becoming a doctor and I clearly realized that I wanted to help people. Personally I am from Algeria, but in Russia I feel at home and I want to be useful here,” says Aouassa Taha Abdessalem, a 2-year student majoring in General Medicine.” “At the TSU Medical Institute I am a second year student and have been doing volunteering for a year and a half. For example, we recently went to Tambov schools and talked about why the profession of a doctor is important.”
The help of TSU foreign students to junior medical personnel in caring for patients, the support of sanitary and hygienic standards in medical institutions has allowed developing regulations for the work of foreign students as volunteers in medical institutions.
It should be noted that during the development of the methodology, more than 600 students were interviewed, 92% of them expressed a desire to take part in volunteering in the field of health care. For 52%, the main motivation is to help people, 32% want to get professional experience.
“There are a lot of foreigners in our country who are not only educated, but also willing to participate in the voluntary movement,” says Vladimir Stromov, TSU rector. “Derzhavin University is unique: students from 65 countries of the world study here and there is a good experience of interaction with healthcare institutions. Therefore, we can develop the best ways to integrate foreign students into medical volunteering, test them, and then scale them all over the country.”
As Georgy Nadareishvili, director of the Federal Center for Volunteering Support in the Healthcare Sector of the Ministry of Health of Russia noted, thanks to the program of involving foreign students in medical volunteering, foreign citizens will be able to imbue with the traditions of Russian volunteering and subsequently spread them around the world.