WHY GO ON A PARAMEDIC SCIENCE ELECTIVE ABROAD?

This is your chance to undertake a paramedic science elective placement in a low-resource, but busy hospital in the developing world. The opportunity also gives your CV a huge boost, helping you land your dream job.

Both paramedics and ambulance services are luxuries enjoyed mainly by those in the developed world. As such, your role in the destinations we operate in is focused more on emergency medicine.

On a paramedic placement abroad, you’ll observe how local staff handle emergency cases with limited resources, learn how cultural issues affect how care is delivered (there’s less of a sense of urgency in some destinations), and see practises like manual intubation that you never see in the UK.

THE CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

A paramedic science elective placement abroad is all about the challenge and taking on a new attitude towards the discipline. For example, you will come to see that, for all it’s faults, the NHS ambulance service is a miracle in comparison to the services offered by some of our destinations (if they offer one at all).

Some things you might observe include:

  • No on-scene emergency treatment
  • Limited resources (especially single-use items)
  • Manual intubation without pain relief
  • Treatments carried out in busy corridors

You will also see major differences in the fundamentals of paramedic science too. For example, in most of our destinations, primary care doesn’t exist. This means some patients use A&E as a GP surgery, making emergency care that much harder.

Your hospital placement runs Monday to Friday, leaving your evenings and weekends free to explore the destination you’ve chosen.

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

The service you get with us is end-to-end. That means we will support you before, during and even after your trip.

The service covers all bases, taking the stress out of planning a paramedic placement abroad.

Arrivals are every Sunday, 52 weeks of the year (you can travel whenever suits you), and durations start from one week.

YOU GET A ONE-TO-ONE SERVICE THAT INCLUDES:

  • A tailored overseas elective in your choice of departments
  • Comprehensive pre-trip preparation
  • Accommodation in a private, catered house
  • A 24/7 in-country team to support you
  • Airport pickup

Click here to see the full list of inclusions

TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES

Your clinical placement is indeed the focus of your trip.

But — whether you prefer to travel with a group or go it solo — weekend trips are a highlight. You'll make lots of like-minded friends in the Work the World house. And you'll all go on big weekend trips together — from trekking through the Himalayas to whitewater rafting down the Zambezi.You’ll immerse yourself in your host culture too.

WHERE DO I START?

Talk to our team before you do anything else. We’re here to answer your questions, advise you on which destinations best suit your interests, and get your place secured when you’re ready.

Get in touch using the short enquiry form at the bottom of this page.

DESTINATIONS

Mexico - Merida
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The hospital you’ll undertake your placement in was first established in 1550, making it the oldest in the city. Most of the city’s emergencies are routed to the A&E department here, so expect it to be busy. Most patients in the adult A&E are economically disadvantaged, and with that comes a lot of trauma resulting from manual labour. The paediatric A&E is less busy, but you will see a range of cases rushed into the stabilisation room before being referred to other specialist departments.

Vietnam - Hue
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Paramedic science placements in Vietnam are fascinating. This is, in part, because traditional medicine is built right into the healthcare system. This means you’ll see how modern practises complement ancient traditions. In our partner hospital’s A&E department you’ll see cases like RTA’s and trauma, and unfamiliar tropical diseases like malaria and dengue fever. Many patients travel in from some of Vietnam’s most rural areas, so the patient demographic is mixed.

Zambia - Lusaka
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On a paramedic science elective in Lusaka, you’ll see that Ambulances here are driven not by paramedics, but by drivers with no clinical experience. That means emergency cases are first dealt with when they arrive at hospital rather than on scene. Add to that the fact that your placement hospital’s A&E department is the city’s main major trauma centre, and you quickly realise that your experience here will be eye-opening. Local patients are typically from economically disadvantaged areas, so you will see the impact that has on both the cases and the care.

Cambodia - Phnom Penh
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Our partner hospital’s A&E department offers a fast-paced paramedic science placement. The department is busy for two reasons; high patient volumes and understaffing. Another disadvantage local staff face, is the lack of equipment and general resources. Doctors and nurses improvise many treatments, and space is at a premium. You might even see mattresses laid on the floor as makeshift hospital beds. You will see a varied caseload, with everything from COPD to attempted suicides coming through the A&E doors.

Philippines - Iloilo
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Your paramedic science elective in Iloilo takes place in the largest government tertiary referral hospital on Panay Island. The hospital is recognised as one of the government’s centres of excellence. Emergency services here are housed in one central complex with separate areas for triage, resuscitation, internal medicine, trauma, ENT, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, and paediatrics. In this busy department, you’ll see cases of everything from tropical diseases like dengue fever, right the way through to stab wounds.

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Tanzania - Dar es Salaam
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On a paramedic science elective in Dar es Salaam, you’ll see that Tanzania is seriously lacking in financial resources, and is rarely able to develop its healthcare system. The A&E department in your placement hospital here was only established in 2010. As this is the only A&E of its kind in all of Tanzania, some emergency cases are referred from many hours’ drive away. For some patients, a few hours will be too late. The department is busy, day in, day out. What’s more, doctors and nurses work shifts here, so you’ll get face time with lots of different staff, giving you a breadth of experience.

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Peru - Arequipa
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The A&E in our partner hospital in Arequipa uses the Andorran triage model. Once patients have gone through triage, they’re sent to the relevant area. There’s a critical observation room, general medicine, OBG, surgery, paediatrics, and trauma. The hospital has a history of dealing with emergency cases — in 1939 Peru’s first ambulance service began at this hospital, in 2009 a new emergency centre was built, and today the hospital hosts international paediatric science patients.

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Ghana - Takoradi
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Your paramedic science elective takes place in the largest and best-equipped hospital in Takoradi. But that doesn’t mean it’s well equipped compared to what you’re used to. You will be in an open plan A&E with separate areas for paediatrics and minor surgery. That said, the lines between these areas blur when things get busy, which is often. You can even spend time with local Ghanaian students, sharing skills and stories. You will also see how even the smallest differences in local Ghanaian culture impact emergency care.

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Nepal - Pokhara
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Flagging down a taxi is often a more efficient way to get to hospital than calling an ambulance. You’ll spend most of your time in A&E looking at cases as they come in as a result. That said, ambulances do come into their own when there are mass casualties resulting from major incidents. One of our partner hospitals even has a specialist ICU ambulance, one of the few existing in Nepal. In terms of cases, you’ll see everything from domestic injuries to paediatric typhoid.

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Kathmandu - Nepal
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Undertake your paramedic science elective in Kathmandu, and you’ll spend time in a busy A&E. Ambulances are used locally, but for the most part, patients tend to make their own way to hospital. This means patients won’t have had any on-scene or in-ambulance treatment before you see them, often critically injured. As well as trauma cases, you’ll also see plenty of late-stage conditions — there are no primary care options in Nepal so patients use A&E as their first port of call.

"The economic burden had an enormous impact on the local healthcare system’s availability to deliver the 'gold standard' care I was used to seeing in the UK."

Cody Thorndyke, University of East Anglia 2018

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"I had the best 3 weeks of my life, and I cannot wait to do it all over again."

Amber Sheldon, University of East Anglia 2018

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What is a paramedic science elective?

A paramedic science elective is a clinical placement that paramedic science students undertake as part of their degree. Every year, more and more paramedic science students are doing their paramedic science electives overseas. To create your own customised paramedic science elective, get in touch with us today.

How long is paramedic science elective?

A paramedic science elective is as long as you want it to be. Our minimum placement duration is 2 weeks, but students typically travel on their paramedic science electives for 4 weeks. There is no upper limit to how long you can travel for.

What are the most popular countries for paramedic science electives?

Our most popular countries for paramedic science electives are (in no particular order):

1. Tanzania

2. Zambia

3. Vietnam

4. Cambodia

5. Peru

6. Mexico

7. Ghana

8. The Philippines

9. Nepal

What are the benefits of a paramedic science elective?

The benefits of a paramedic science elective include:

  • Expanding your clinical knowledge and skill set
  • Becoming more confident, independent and resourceful
  • Making yourself more attractive to employers
  • Doing some proper travelling
  • Building your personal and professional network
  • Sharpening your language and communication skills
  • Renewing your perspective on the NHS

What kinds of cases will I see on an overseas paramedic science elective?

You’ll see cases like:

  • Tropical infectious diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and chikungunya
  • Much higher numbers of RTAs than you’re used to in the UK
  • Domestic abuse, assault, attempted suicide
  • Hypo- and hyperglycemia
  • Sepsis with multi-organ failure