Physiotherapy is rarely offered in hospitals overseas. Where it is, it is often expensive or lacking in sophistication with techniques and equipment often outdated in comparison to what we’re used to at home. However, by spending time on a physiotherapy project you will be able to work with physiotherapists that offer very good treatment despite the handicaps. You will experience techniques we’ve forgotten about and alternatives methods of therapy not widely used in the more developed world such as massage and acupuncture in China.
Physiotherapy projects are not just an opportunity to get some great experience on your CV, they are also about learning skills you perhaps won’t be taught at home. A project like this is also an opportunity in many cases to help children and adults who are less fortunate than us.
Our physiotherapy projects in China are based at a disabled person’s clinic in the suburbs of Beijing. Sadly the clinic receives no money from the government so it is privately funded and relies on donations from the public.
As with general medical practice in China, the hospital uses Chinese massage and acupuncture alongside conventional rehabilitation methods. If you are interested, you can learn some of these methods from the doctors.
The hospital mainly treats children. Sadly some of these children have been abandoned and live as orphans in the hospital.Your working day usually starts at 8am and finishes around lunch time. You will spend most of your time helping the children with their exercises.
Our physiotherapy volunteers work in a Physiotherapy Clinic in Puerto Vallarta and at big hospitals in Guadalajara. The clinic was established in 1981 by a group of volunteers who wanted to provide help to people who are suffering from disabilities or people recovering from serious fractures that were unable to pay for their rehabilitation therapy. The clinic relies heavily on donations and in the last five years has helped over 4,500 patients.
You will start your first week by completing an induction course covering the work of the clinic and the basic procedures and workshops that you will be asked to assist with. The clinic runs a number of workshops which are tailored to the injury or disability and you will be helping in a variety of these. Although physiotherapy makes up the bulk of the workshops, you will also be asked to help with language therapy, massage and feeding the disabled patients.
In Guadalajara you will work at a large, busy, government funded hospital which provides care for those unable to afford private medical insurance.
You will be working under one of the most qualified and experienced physiotherapists in Mexico who will meet with you at the beginning of the placement to discuss your background and interests. She will then arrange a rough programme for you but this will be very much at the mercy of the cases coming into the hospital so please remain flexible.
We have chosen this busy hospital because it will give you the opportunity to experience a varied amount of cases, from patients recovering from tauma or fractures, cancer patients following major surgery and those recovering from cardiac illnesses.