FAQ’s

Some FAQ’s about living and working abroad as a US citizen:

How hard is it to get a license?

In order to be licensed here you need to have a valid license in the States. After that you need the usual certificates (BLS, ACLS, etc.).  You also typically need 2 years of recent experience. 

What do I need to work?

You need a Work Permit, which the employer pays for.  The work permit can be valid for 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or 3 years.  In order to obtain a permit you need a physical with a chest x-ray and labs, police clearance, recommendations (both personal and professional), so on.  These rules can change so your employer can help you with exactly what you need. 

What kind of calls do you see?

The same type of calls you’d expect in a large community.  There’s medical calls (DKA, MI’s, CVA’s), trauma calls (stabbings, MVA’s so on), transports to appointments (there’s no transport service).  The only call I’ve had that I never had back home was “man fell from a coconut tree.”

 Are you busy?

Again, like in the States, there’re slow days and busy days.  It all depends but 5-6 calls/day is average. 

 What’s involved in moving to a foreign country?

It can be pretty intimidating.  You need to deal with little things you never think about, like mail.  Some people hire a mail forwarding service; others use a family member’s address and have mail sent there.  Then you need to store stuff.  We pretty much sold as much as we could.  There’re a few things we needed to keep so we do have a storage unit, but the best advice we ever got was to get rid of everything we could, and be ruthless about it.

 What about a phone?

To stay in touch with family we obviously email and stay connected through social media.  Skype is a great way to call people, but sometimes a phone is better.  I had a cell phone number which I’ve had forever; I didn’t want to lose that number.  There’re a few options but I went with Republic Wireless.  The plans are cheap and on WiFi I can make or receive calls and texts anywhere in the world. Plus when we visit the States, we have a working cell phone.