Nursing Internships in Bolivia
- PLACEMENT LOCATION: Cochabamba
- ROLE: To gain experience alongside skilled local staff in various departments of a hospital or public health clinic
- TYPES OF PLACEMENTS: Public health clinics, hospitals, and community work
- REQUIREMENTS: Interns should speak intermediate Spanish
- ACCOMMODATION: Host family
- LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 4 weeks
- START DATES: Flexible
Interns with Projects Abroad on a Nursing project in Bolivia work at one of two public hospitals or various Centros de Salud, public health clinics that offer free healthcare to anyone in Cochabamba. Interns participating in the nursing programs can also get involved in community-outreach programs, including vaccination programs and dental health campaigns which the clinic organizes throughout the year.
At the Centros de Salud you can work in a variety of departments such as pediatrics, gynecology, admissions, or pharmacy work. The health clinics only have the basic resources to be able to attend to mostly minor emergencies, accidents, and routine visits. There is insufficient funding to maintain the facilities in complete working order, or provide the clinic with sufficient staff or materials.
Nursing interns may also be placed at a public hospital in the city center that, although receiving little funding, has a well-known Burns Unit. Patients often travel far to receive treatment there. The second hospital placement we offer was founded in 1978. It is a non-profit hospital where you will learn more about regular medical procedures by observing the professionals that work there.
While these placements are ideal for people who are already qualified or currently studying nursing, you do not have to be a trained nurse or nursing student. You could intern abroad with us in Bolivia if you are on a gap year or career break and interested in gaining some experience in the field. However, you do need to be at least at least 18 years old and will need intermediate Spanish in order to communicate directly with the majority of medical staff and patients.
Interning Abroad as a Nurse in Bolivia with Projects Abroad
As a nursing intern you can help with basic duties such as making beds and taking basic observations including weight, height, temperature, and blood pressure. You may also be able to dress wounds and carry out basic medical tasks if you have the experience.
Projects Abroad organizes regular workshops for our medical interns. The workshops provide a greater understanding of Bolivia’s medical system and focus on many of the common medical issues facing the local people. Interns also visit local communities to provide health education in a wide variety of topics. The health education work and the workshops are supervised and run by a qualified nurse.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Bolivia Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan.
All interns live with host families in Cochabamba, which is an enriching experience as you gain insight into the day-to-day life of the local Bolivians. You can spend your free time with your host family and other Projects Abroad volunteers experiencing everything Cochabamba and Bolivia has to offer.
Many interns who lack confidence in their Spanish normally take a Language course or join a Teaching or Care project before beginning their Medicine & Healthcare internship. This gives you the opportunity to improve your language skills before starting the medical part of your project.