Many hospitals in developing countries are short staffed and often have a high patient loads, so physiotherapy students find themselves involved with treatment and patient care very quickly. Under resourced wards can also mean a return to the basics of training; diagnosing and treating conditions without familiar physiotherapy equipment. These placements are an excellent opportunity to hone your core skills.
One of the most common injuries is burns, as most of our destinations rely on gas burners for cooking which often explode. The increased number of road traffic accidents also demands great need for post-operative rehabilitation. Students on our elective programme often encounter cases that have been largely eradicated in the UK, such as polio, club-foot and leprosy.
Unfortunately cost, distance and a lack of education in resource-poor countries means patients regularly present themselves with diseases or pathologies that have advanced to a critical stage. The chance to witness and treat these conditions will undoubtedly teach you new skills and enhance your understanding of disease progression.
We tailor each physiotherapy placement to your individual interests, so you can be quite specific about your requirements. The Operations Manager assigned to your placement has visited the hospitals and clinics in your chosen destination, and that means we can answer any questions knowledgeably and can fully investigate your request and place you in the best possible setting.
If you are not sure what kind of setting you want, don't worry - we will discuss this with you a few months before you go. We've helped physio students identify whether a busy hospital with more equipment suited them better, right down to those who felt more motivated by the idea of smaller community hospitals that were more typical of the care available to the majority of the country. Whatever you are interested in, we will find a physio placement abroad that appeals.
Occupational therapy placements are also available - please contact us for further details.Frequently asked questions
LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION?
Working out that you want to take your skills to a developing country is one thing. Deciding on which location would best suit you is another!
We've put together four of our recent electives in an attempt to inspire you with options such as combining time in a leprosy clinic in Nepal with the chance to paraglide with eagles in the highest mountains of the world, or joining an intensive care team in Argentina and finishing off the day with tango, steak and red wine.
This list is certainly not exhaustive, so please get in touch if you have something else in mind.DOWNLOAD PHYSIOTHERAPY SPECIALITY SHEET
In four weeks I had the time of my life and many more amazing experiences than I can recount here.
Emily Downs, University of the West of England 2013Read More
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with beautiful people and so much to teach any student who is willing to learn
Kaitlin Freienmuth, Robert Gordon University 2013Read More
I was able to see a variety of cases, including pediatric cases such as cerebral palsy and sternocleidomastoid tumors. Other adult cases included fractures, burns, Guillian Barre and a lot of different MSK cases
Louise Bishop, Professional placement 2013Read More