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When will I know when and where?

Hi. I applied, and was accepted in Oct, 2015 to serve aboard the Africa Mercy as an adult ward nurse for  2016-17. I am very excited and eagerly awaiting more information. Can anyone give me an idea of how soon I will know what country the ship will serve next, or when I'll know my service dates?  I'm eager to start making some definite plans!  


  • Hi Brenda, 

    As far as I know, staffing schedules for the next field service are completed sometime in February or March, so you should hear in the next few weeks!
  • TerriMooreTerriMoore Posts: 9
    The ship is going to Cotonou in Benin in September.

  • What is the adult ward like? what kind of jobs will you do there?
  • BrendaBraxtonBrendaBraxton Posts: 24
    This will be my first time on the ship, so I can't really tell you exactly what it is like. As a ward nurse, I will be caring for inpatients recovering from surgery. 
  • Hi, I currently work on the ship as the ward educator and as a nurse on the ward.  

    You are correct as a ward nurse you will be caring for patients pre and post op. Our wards are split into surgical specialties, such as general surgery or womens health surgery or maxilofacial surgery etc. which means there is a mixture of adults and pediatrics on each ward. The tasks that you do on the ward depend on the ward you are working on as they are surgery specific. All wards provide general nursing care such as giving medications, taking vital signs and depending which ward you are on may also include wound dressing changes, encouraging pateints with their physiotherapy exercises and more. 
  • CraigSharverCraigSharver Posts: 11 - Current Staff

    We have 15-20 bed wards divided out by specialty, so one ward is our Maxillofacial ward, one is our General surgery ward, and one is our short term specialty ward (plastics, then ortho, etc). The ward is home to adults and children from a few weeks old, to over 70 years of age. As far as possible, we ask pediatric nurses to care for the children, especially the younger ones. However, whether an adult or pediatric trained nurse, you can expect to care for patients of all ages. Nurses look after 5-7 patients on a day or evening shift of varying acuity. On a night shift, they will look after 10-12 patients. The ward is a busy surgical ward, so nurses will care for patients with simple incision lines as well as more complicated skin graft dressings, surgical drains, NG tubes, urinary catheters, IV fluids, IV antibiotics, naso-pharyngeal airways and occasionally tracheostomies. Ward nurses work approximately 10 shifts in every 2 week period and usually receive one weekend off every two to three weeks. Ward nurses work 8 hour shifts and that is a mixture of day and evening shifts, with 3-4 night shifts in a 3-4 week period. The night shifts are grouped together so most nurses work one block of night shifts (4 nights in a row) every 4 weeks on average.


    Hope this helps!

    Steph D

  • CraigSharverCraigSharver Posts: 11 - Current Staff
    Hello from the Mercy Ships office in Texas, USA.

    It’s with great pleasure to announce Benin as our country next. The schedule date is from September 11th, 2016 – May 20th, 2017. Hopefully, you will be able to join us on our journey to Benin.

    Thank you for submitting your application and I will check on when we are staffing Ward Nurses. Feel free to contact me with additional questions as well:

    [email protected]


  • Thank you Craig and Esther for that helpful nursing info - I will be joining your team in Benin on 18 September, and simply cannot wait! Something I do want to find out is: do I bring scrubs from home, or do I buy the Mercy Ships embroidered ones on board? I will be serving until 31st December, so will 3 uniforms be enough? And can we wear black shoes? Anything else you can pass on will be most helpful - thank you!
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