There’s nothing typical about providing life-saving medical procedures for free, but on the Africa Mercy such miracles happen daily in the ship’s fully functioning hospital, equipped with five state-of-the-art operating theatres. While the Africa Mercy crew consists of approximately 400 volunteers at any given time, nurses are a major segment of the community who have the unique opportunity to provide hands-on care and compassion to the thousands of patients Mercy Ships treats each year.

It takes all kinds with all skills to keep the Africa Mercy going strong – from mariners and surgeons, to pharmacists and cooks, to IT specialists and housekeepers – all of which play a critical role in achieving Mercy Ships mission to bring hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor. Amazingly, over the course of a field service, as many as 1400 volunteers from over 35 nations can rotate through the wide variety of positions onboard, with roughly 340 being nurses specializing in areas such as Operating Room (OR); Post Anesthesia Care (PACU); Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU); Palliative Care; Women’s Health; as well as Adult, Pediatric, and Intensive Care (ICU) Ward.

In a place where nothing is typical, the extraordinary happens, and Mercy Ships nurses have crucial parts to play in the transforming moments that so drastically change lives. Whether they’re performing rotations, playing Jenga, answering a page, passing out stickers, changing bandages, or launching impromptu dance parties, hope and healing are all in a good day’s work.

Share this blog with your friends and colleagues. It takes all kinds of skills to run a hospital ship.