Preparing

Thank you for applying for a trip with Medical Missions Outreach! Now that you have applied, there are several important notes to remember:

  1. Generally, all communication for your upcoming trip will be via email. Make sure to allow emails coming from the medical-outreach.com domain name access to your inbox.
  2. Plan carefully so that all payments toward the cost of your trip (airfare from your closest major airport, hotel, food, transportation, visas/taxes) are made on time. If you are experiencing financial difficulties after applying, please call us right away.

We are working hard to plan a great trip for you! Please let us know if any questions or concerns arise that are not answered by our website or the emails you receive. We will do our best to help you prepare for a great trip to serve the Lord with us!

When you go on a trip with Medical Missions Outreach, it’s important to be aware of what to expect.

After you have applied for a trip, remember that all communication is done via email. Make sure to allow emails coming from the medical-outreach.com domain name access to your inbox. On occasion, our director, Bradley Edmondson will call team members to make sure they have their questions answered and feel prepared for the trip.

The cost of the trip will include your airfare (from your closest major airport), hotel, food, transportation, and all taxes. Payments will be expected to be made on time, and in full 45 days before departure. If you are experiencing financial difficulties after applying, please call us.  If the country you are visiting requires a visa, we will notify you, and it will be your responsibility to obtain the visa.  We will give you all the details you need to know to make it a simple process.

General Expectations

Here are some other things you can expect:

  • Expect to work. This is not a vacation. We typically treat about 500 patients daily. This means getting up early, working all day, and being extremely tired by bedtime.
  • Expect to use your creative thinking skills. Rarely is our clinic site a true clinic. We set up in schools, churches, etc, which means that we must be creative in how/where we set up the clinic – our supplies are limited. We don’t have everything at our disposal, therefore we come up with creative solutions to accomplish our goals.
  • Expect to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
    • You will be exposed to a different culture, different customs and probably a different language than you are used to.
    • You may see illnesses that you have never seen before.
    • You will see poverty and difficult situations.
    • You will try new foods.
    • Although comfortable, hotel accomadations are not comparable to hotels in the United States.
    • Weather conditions are sometimes very hot, sometimes very cold and clinic settings are often uncomfortable.
  • Expect to have fun.
    • We will have a time of designated site-seeing and shopping.
    • We are a light-hearted group and enjoying laughing!
  • Expect to be flexible.
    • You may be asked to work in an area doing something you have never done before.
    • We may have to change the way we are doing things based upon situations that arise.
    • Plans may change due to unforeseen circumstances.
    • Our motto is: Be fluid – flexible is too stiff.
  • Expect to work as a team.
    • Each team member is important for the proper function of the clinic.
    • We expect each member to do their part.
    • We learn from each other, as we know that each of us has different strengths and weaknesses.
  • Expect a spiritual emphasis.
    • We are not ashamed that our main focus is evangelism. While no team member is directly responsible for evangelism, we do pay careful attention to the counseling area.
    • We have team devotions each morning led by our MMO director.
    • We attend church services at our hosting church. Sometimes team members participate in the services with preaching, singing, or special music. No one is required to participate, however every team member is required to attend the services.
  • Expect God to bless.
    • Your life will be forever changed if you come selflessly serving and expecting great things.
Clinical Summary

The 6 primary areas of the clinic will be as follows: 1) registration, 2) triage area, 3) examination area, 4) wound care and lab, 5) pharmacy and 6) counseling area. Each of these sections have waiting areas and translators, which will be determined once we see the layout of the clinic area.

  • We will need team members and translators at each of these areas: triage, assessment, pharmacy, treatment, and wound care.
  • How spiritual ministry is done will be determined by the missionaries/national believers, but always take every available opportunity to point patients toward their spiritual needs. This should be done in such a way that patients know that their care is not dependent on their response.
  • Examinations will be focused and problem-oriented, and in many cases, diagnoses will be determined based on history and labs. But each patient should know that we care very much about him/her as a person.
  • The pharmacy may be the longest wait for the patient, but it is important that we are very careful in filling Rx’s, and that each patient fully understands how to properly take his/her Rx’s.

If you would like to see our clinic in action, please make sure to visit the video page and watch the promotional video. Remember, flexibility is the key to having a great week of clinic. We look forward to serving with you!

Immunizations

Medical Missions Outreach does not require you to receive any specific immunizations, but we do highly urge you to be up to date on all vaccinations and to seek out further country-specific immunization advice from the Center for Disease Control. Medical Missions Outreach highly suggests being up to date on these vaccinations: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td/Tdap), Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), IPV, Polio, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B. As you will see on the CDC website, many more vaccinations are recommended. The aforementioned five vaccinations are the vaccinations that we recommend at this time. Additionally, remember to seek out country-specific vaccination recommendations.

Helpful Links

From the CDC Website:

  1. Have you scheduled a visit to your doctor or a travel medicine provider? – Ideally, set one up 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. Most vaccines take time to become effective in your body and some vaccines must be given in a series over a period of days or sometimes weeks. If it is less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see your doctor. You might still benefit from shots or medications and other information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.
  2. Are you aware of which types of vaccinations you or those traveling with you may need? – CDC divides vaccines for travel into three categories: routine, recommended, and required. While your doctor will tell you which ones you should have, it’s best to be aware of them ahead of time.
  3. Routine Vaccinations – Be sure that you and your family are up to date on your routine vaccinations. These vaccines are necessary for protection from diseases that are still common in many parts of the world even though they rarely occur in the United States. If you are not sure which vaccinations are routine, look at the schedules below:
  4. Recommended Vaccinations – These vaccines are recommended to protect travelers from illnesses present in other parts of the world and to prevent the importation of infectious diseases across international borders. Which vaccinations you need depends on a number of factors including your destination, whether you will be spending time in rural areas, the season of the year you are traveling, your age, health status, and previous immunizations. See our Places page and look up the country or countries you will visit.
  5. Required Vaccinations – The only vaccine required by International Health Regulations is yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Meningococcal vaccination is required by the government of Saudi Arabia for annual travel during the Hajj.
    1. Yellow Fever Use the Health Information for International Travel information below to determine if you will need a yellow fever certificate, and find a clinic that can give the vaccination and issue the certificate.
    2. Meningococcal Meningitis See Saudi Arabia Hajj Requirements, and Meningococcal Disease in Health Information for International Travel.
Packing List

Are you planning on going with Medical Missions Outreach on a medical mission trip? Here’s a list of suggested items to pack. Remember: use your judgment as to what you think you’ll need (Use accuweather.com to check for climate conditions.). For example: everyone needs to bring a toothbrush, but not everyone will want to bring a camera. We will list most of the items you could think of, so that we cover all of the bases. That being said, again, you should use your best judgment. An asterisk (*) denotes an item that is either required or heavily recommended. See the Helpful Hints section for more detail explanations of the packing list. To prevent you from having to scroll down a lengthy page, please toggle (click the name or sign) the categories below for more details:

Download a printable copy of the packing list in PDF format.

Before you even get started packing, here’s a small list of things not to bring:

Do Not Bring:

  • Expensive jewelry or watches
  • Sharp objects in carry-on
  • Aerosols in luggage
  • Checked bags weighing greater than 50 pounds
  • Liquids in carry-on exceeding 3 ounces

Packing Supplies:

  • Suitcase*
  • Backpack/Carry-on (Check flight rules for carry-ons.)*
  • Zip-Lock bags (for packing, storing)*
  • Trash bags (for dirty clothes or for storing)
  • Luggage locks*
  • Fanny pack
  • Travel-sized luggage scale

Clothing:

(Modest, culturally respectful, 2 Corinthians 6:3)

  • Glasses (extra pair in case of breakage)*
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Jacket and/or Sweater (if cold*)
  • T-Shirts/Casual Shirts/Blouses*
  • Dress Shirts/Blouses for church*
  • Tie
  • Scrubs*
  • Skirts (below the knee or longer*)
  • Undergarments*
  • Socks*
  • Shoes for Clinic* (tennis shoes, hiking boots, etc.)
  • Shoes for Church*
  • Flip-Flops or sandals for hotel/souvenir day (optional)
  • Sleep attire (something appropriate to wear to bed when sharing a room*)
  • Poncho or small umbrella*

Toiletries:

  • Small mirror (You will be sharing a room.)
  • Toilet paper* (Pack just a few travel sized rolls.)
  • Toothpaste*
  • Toothbrush*
  • Floss
  • Shampoo/soap*
  • Razor*
  • Deodorant*
  • Hairspray
  • Personal hygiene supplies*
  • Small towel and washcloth*
  • Small pillow
  • Kleenex
  • Nail-grooming set (not in you or carry-on!)
  • Hair dryer

Other Items:

  • Insect repellent*
  • Sunscreen (30 SPF, sweat-proof)*
  • Hand sanitizer*
  • Two bottles of water*
  • Prescription/regularly taken OTC medications***
  • Imodium AD (for diarrhea)*
  • Laxative (for constipation)
  • Pepto-Bismol (general stomach problems)
  • Tums/Antacid (for spicy, unfamiliar foods)
  • Benadryl (for allergies)*
  • Tylenol/Advil (for headaches)*
  • Contact solution/case*
  • Extra Contacts*

Electronics:

Bring these items at your own risk. Also, be respectful with your electronics. For example: ask before taking pictures, be respectful with cell phone use, etc.

  • Camera
  • Memory cards for camera
  • Cell phone
  • Tablet or Laptop for use on plane, at hotel, etc. (Wi-Fi is probable but not guaranteed; check Bradley’s emails for specific trip
  • information.)
  • Chargers for each device
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Flashlight (small)
  • Batteries
  • Plug adapter and/or transformer3 (voltagevalet.com/elec_guide.html)

Clinical Items:

Please bring these if you have them/are a provider.

  • Stethoscope*
  • BP cuff*
  • Bandage scissors*
  • Otoscope/Ophthalmoscope* (For those examining patients)
  • Let me know in advance if you cannot bring one
  • Photocopy of nursing/medical license*

Miscellaneous Items:

  • PASSPORT PASSPORT PASSPORT
  • Money* (Suggested: $200-$250)
  • Credit card
  • Bible*
  • Notebook
  • Pens
  • Photo ID* (besides passport)
  • Gum
  • Photocopy of important documents*
  • Reading material
  • Snacks* (Ex. nuts, raisins, trail mix, granola bars, crackers)
  • Small utility knife (not on you or carry-on!)
  • Pictures to show friends
  • Candy, games, small gifts, evangelism items, items from your state or favorite sports team, hats, shirts, etc. to give away

Helpful Hints:

The above list is meant to be fairly straightforward and all encompassing. Below, we’ll list some tips concerning packing and traveling.

Clothing Guidelines

As disciples of Christ, we want to be as respectful as possible in how we dress. We always want to err on the side of modesty, so that our dress does not distract from the message; we want to convey Christ.

“Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.” – 2 Corinthians 6:3

“But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.” – 1 Corinthians 8:9

At Church – Men will be expected to wear slacks and a button-up (ties are optional) at church services, and women are expected to wear skirts (below the knee or longer) and blouses with modest necklines and some form of sleeves (no tank tops or spaghetti straps).

At Clinic – Scrubs are fine for either sex but must be modest in nature. Women not in scrubs should wear skirts (again, below the knee or longer) and shirts/blouses (again, modest neckline, no tanks or spaghetti straps). Men not in scrubs should wear jeans/khakis/cargo pants/etc. and some form of sleeved shirt. Again, no tank tops and no shorts, please.

Hotel – Even at the hotel, you are still interacting with local people and with members of the opposite gender. Please, maintain your modesty when outside your rooms/in common areas.

Sightseeing – Maintain the aforementioned guidelines, but you may choose more casual attire than what you wore in church or in the clinic. (Ex. sandals, t-shirt, etc.) The rules on cultural modesty exist for as long as we are traveling to and from the country though.

These rules may seem rather detailed, but our point is not to offend the local people. We want to be a catalyst to the local ministries that we’re there to serve, not something that offends and does more harm than good. Mission trips bring us to sacrifice in many ways. If you have issue with any clothing policy after reading these guidelines, feel free to call Bradley, and he’d be happy to discuss any problems you have. We thank you for your willingness to work with us and sacrifice for this one week. It means more than you can imagine!

Carry-On

Very rarely does luggage get “lost”, but, as frequent travelers know, on occasion your luggage may be delayed by a day or two. For this reason, we recommend you pack more than just snacks and books in your carry-on.

Recommended Carry-On Packing List – Travel clock (or you can use the alarm on your phone), 1-2 days of clothing, snacks, bible, small travel lock, smaller bag of items in case forced to check carry-on bag (optional), at least half of your regular meds, emergency meds, glasses, contacts, notebook, camera/memory cards, reading material, small roll of TP (tube removed or travel size), personal toiletry items (toothbrush, deodorant, etc.), thin jacket (optional), 2nd set of keys to any luggage locks. REMEMBER: No knives. Liquids need to be in bottles 3 oz. or less in size, and all of these in the same one quart zip-lock bag.

Plug Adapters, Transformers (Converters), and Step-Downs

Check the battery packs and owner’s manuals for your devices. Many of your personal electronics (iPhone, iPad, Laptop, etc.) can handle 120v or 240v. For these items, you just need to purchase a plug adapter. Some items (such as hair dryers) are made specifically for 120v (United States). For these items, you’ll need a step-down transformer (240v to 120v). Check voltage and plug types here: kropla.com/electric2.htm (Consider 110v and 120v interchangeable; as well, treat 220v and 240v as equivalents.) Remember, you only need a converter or transformer if the country is of different voltage than the U.S. and your products are not compatible with that voltage. If voltage is similar, check for plug type differences. Plug types may be different between countries with the same voltage. Many hotels in foreign countries offer ‘American’ plugs due to tourism. When in doubt, ask Pastor Bradley and/or consult the aforementioned website before making an unnecessary purchase.

Money

We suggest $200 – $250 in cash (for souvenirs, snacks, etc.). Make this in $10 – $50 bills, plus a few smaller bills for U.S. airports.

Travelers checks are okay in some places, but are usually more difficult to cash except in airports.

1-2 credit card(s) are a nice thing to bring along if you have one. Visa and MasterCard are the safest bets to be accepted worldwide.

Packing & Travel

Unless things change, you are permitted one checked bag from the U.S. (weighing 50 pounds).  If you have questions, feel free to ask.

As far as actually checking in your bags, there are two scenarios.

  1. We were able to book all your flights (from home to foreign country) with the same airline (ex. Delta) or family of airlines (ex. United & Continental). In this case, when you check your bag in, check it all the way to the end destination. Let’s look at an example: You live in Denver, Colorado and are traveling to Honduras with MMO. Bradley booked this route for you with Delta Airlines: Denver to Atlanta to Honduras. You would check your bag in Denver all the way to Honduras. This will prevent you from having to wait for your luggage and check it again. Looking at the previous example, if you just checked your bag to Atlanta, you would have to wait for your luggage in Atlanta and then re-check it with the same airline, which is a little redundant. If you’re still not sure, ask the lady or gentleman at the check-in desk, and they can tell you if you have the option to check your bags to the end destination. (Make sure you don’t need anything out of your bag before you get to the foreign country. You won’t see it until then!)
  2. We had to book your flights (home to rally point to foreign country) on two separate airlines (ex. United & Delta). In this case, you will only have the option to check your bag to the endpoint of that airlines flight. Then, you will have to retrieve your bag and re-check it in whenever you switch airlines. Let’s look at an example: You live in Austin, Texas and are traveling to Kenya with MMO. Bradley booked this route for you with American Airlines: Austin to Dallas to Newark. Then he booked this route with Virgin Atlantic: Newark to London to Nairobi. You would check your bag in Austin with American Airlines all the way to Newark. At Newark, you retrieve your bag and make your way to the Virgin Atlantic terminal and re-check your bag with Virgin Atlantic all the way to Nairobi.

Zip-lock bags are your friend. Use them to organize, protect from moisture, and prevent products such as shampoo from leaking into your bag. (Remember, if you’re carrying on liquids, they must be 3 oz. or less, and they must be contained in a quart-sized zip-lock bag.) Double or triple zip-lock any liquid or food items. Remember Murphy’s Law! (Also, remember: no aerosols in your luggage!) Use small-sized travel toiletries if possible to save weight and space.

Large soft-sided luggage is very practical. You may want your piece of luggage to be a large, 28-32″ duffel on wheels, as those work very well. Try to bring luggage that you yourself can handle in airports if at all possible. Space is many times limited when traveling within the foreign country, so please pack tightly and practically.

Misc. Reminders

Men: Carry your wallets in your front pockets when in cities, if not at all times.

Thin hand-towels work well for packing. They dry quickly and take up very little space.

Make sure you know your luggage lock combination and/or have your luggage lock keys before you leave home!

If you purchase a phone card, ensure that it is a valid international card to be used FROM another country to call TO the United States and not visa versa.

Bradley typically has Internet and Skype access on his computer via Wi-Fi if you need to call home. Calls CAN be made to any phone number via Skype.

Be aware of any changes to TSA security, Airline rules and regulations, etc. The MMO administration team will keep you updated, but it never hurts to keep an eye on things.

Ensure your carry-on fits airline standards. You’d hate to have to check a bag with all of your in-flight entertainment.

And certainly, don’t forget to bring a prayerful heart, a willing spirit, an attitude of flexibility, an eagerness to serve, and healthy enthusiasm. Not only will you be a blessing to the local ministries we’re serving, but also you will find that you yourself will be very blessed by this trip!

Sample Itinerary

Thursday – Friday – Travel Days

Saturday – Clinic/Pharmacy Set Up

Sunday – Church Services

Monday-Thursday – Clinical Days (Clinics usually open at 8 am and close around 5-6 pm)

Friday – Sight Seeing/Tourism Day

Saturday – Travel Day

Navigating Airports

Some quick airport tips:

  • Arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight. If this is your first time flying, you have a large group, it’s a busy travel weekend, you’re at a busy airport, etc., feel free to arrive earlier. Just keep a comfortable buffer in between your arrival time and the departure time. Our focus is on getting to the country quickly and smoothly so that we can prepare for a great week of ministry, and though many flight issues occur that are outside of our control, we want to prepare best in a way that avoids airline issues.
  • Check your luggage in all the way to our destination.
  • Check the luggage policy of the airline you’re flying with.
  • Remember: one checked piece per person.
  • Go directly to your gate before stopping to shop or eat. Check flight statuses and always keep an eye on your watch.
  • When you get to the airport where the entire mission team is meeting, meet up with the team and let Bradley know that you’ve made it before exploring the airport.
  • The team typically meets at one airport before departing for the mission destination. Usually, the rendezvous point is Atlanta, New York, or Detroit, but you will be told ahead of time what airport to meet the team.
  • Preferably, someone from your group should text or call Bradley each time you or your group changes planes. This allows Bradley to know your progress. If there are ANY unexpected flight changes, delays, or problems of any kind, please call Bradley immediately, so that he can fix any problems to the best of his ability.