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Volunteer Overseas

Professional Volunteering Opportunities in Physiotherapy, Jamaica

  • Placement location: Mandeville
  • Requirements: Degree in Physical Therapy, a relevant license to practice in your country of residence and 2 years’ experience; Obtain a temporary license from the Jamaican Medical Association
  • Accommodation: Host family
  • Length of placement: From 2 weeks
  • Start Dates: Flexible

This voluntary medical project helps treat patients in a hospital in Mandeville, Jamaica.

Specialist healthcare workers such as physiotherapists are in demand and overworked in Jamaica. The island’s high rate of traffic accidents and orthopaedic conditions make this doubly important.

Here you will find answers to the following questions:

How can volunteer physiotherapists help in Jamaica?

What will I gain from this project?

What will Projects Abroad PRO provide?

What skills or qualifications do I need?

How can volunteer physiotherapists help in Jamaica?

As a volunteer physiotherapist, you can use your knowledge and training to assist the local staff in improving the physical condition of patients. You can work on tasks such as:

  • Providing treatment for patients requiring physiotherapy, including:
    • Orthopaedic or bone cases
    • Muscle problems
    • Stroke rehabilitation
    • Chest conditions
    • Developmentally delayed children (paediatric cases)
    • Lower back pain
    • Post surgical fractures
    • Neurological problems
    • Paediatric cases
    • Chest physiotherapy
    • Gait training
  • Completing treatment plans for each patient
  • Designing a development plan for the patient with the local staff
  • Taking part in medical outreach programmes in local communities (optional)
  • Organising and running training clinics for Projects Abroad volunteers working with other centres (optional)
  • Providing sports physiotherapy (when possible)

You will be working in the Physiotherapy department of the Mandeville Regional Hospital (MRH). It offers a variety of specialist treatments and is Mandeville’s main hospital. You will be expected to work at least 5 hours a day from Monday to Friday.

Specific treatments include hot and cold compresses, electro therapy, strengthening exercises, crutches walking, muscle building and gait training. Alternative hospitals and medical clinics are available if you have a specific area of interest that is not offered at MRH.

This project runs all year round. You decide how much time you can spare and we will help you get the most out of it.

What will I gain from this project?

You will gain experience from working with colleagues who operate with limited resources and funding. This will challenge you and test your skills and ability to work under pressure. You will also be able to share ideas and come up with creative solutions to the problems you face.

You will spend a lot of time with local staff and patients. This will teach you about their culture and way of life. They will all want to hear about your life back home and your family and friends. We call this ‘cultural exchange’ and we think it helps our volunteers gain a new perspective on life.

What will Projects Abroad PRO provide?

We have over 20 years’ experience of running volunteer projects. We provide you with the following support to make sure your time in Jamaica is successful and enjoyable:

  • Safe accommodation with a Jamaican family close to your project.
  • Friendly and dedicated local staff available to help 24 hours a day.
  • A member of staff to meet you at the airport when you arrive.
  • Medical and travel insurance.

What skills or qualifications do I need?

You require a Bachelor’s Degree in Physiotherapy, a relevant licence to practise in your country of residence and 2 years’ experience.

Volunteers also need to obtain a temporary licence from the Jamaican Medical Association in order to treat patients independently. This process normally takes around 3 months.

You will need to apply for the licence before you leave. Our Desk Officer in Jamaica will give you full support, including the required forms and how to fill them in.

A detailed outline of your transcript or curriculum review should be submitted before arrival so that the placement may know your specific areas of training you received in physiotherapy.

Please note that the type of work you conduct will be determined by your specific training.

Please contact us if you think your knowledge may be useful on this project but do not have the required qualifications.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

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