At a glance
- Gain practical work experience while helping treat patients with disabilities, diseases, or HIV.
- There are a large number of disabled people in Cambodia and the funds and resources needed to treat them are extremely limited.
- You’ll work alongside physical therapists at the rehabilitation center, they'll guide your work and you can exchange medical knowledge.
16 or over
You should have completed at least one year of physical therapy related studies or training.
Is a Physical Therapy internship in Cambodia right for me?
Do you want to gain more practical work experience in the physical therapy field? Are you eager to travel and experience life abroad? If so, this project is a great fit for you!
Our Physical Therapy internship in Cambodia will allow you to build your resume. This is an ideal opportunity for a young professional. You will be able to practice what you’ve learnt and develop new skills under supervision. You’ll also learn to think out of the box, and how to adapt to a different environment. In addition, you’ll be using your skills to help where it’s needed most.
You need to have completed at least one year of physical therapy related studies or training to join. If you have questions or need guidance, you can reach out to Projects Abroad staff at any time.
The internship is open year round, and you can join at any time for a minimum of two weeks. We do encourage you to stay longer so that you can make a bigger impact and learn more during your physical therapy work experience in Cambodia.
What will I do at my Physiotherapy placement in Cambodia?
You’ll work at a rehabilitation center, and help treat patients who have a variety of needs. Your level of responsibility depends on your experience. Here are a few of the things that you will do at your physical therapy placement in Cambodia:
- Provide physical therapy treatment and care to patients living with various conditions
- Write up treatment plans and patient files
- Assist with the training and development of local staff
- Create practical, low-cost solutions when resources are lacking
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Providing physical therapy treatments and care to patients living with various conditions
You’ll be placed at a rehabilitation center in Phnom Penh. Here, you’ll treat patients with disabilities or diseases such as cerebral palsy, stunted growth, and epilepsy. You may also work with people affected by HIV. You’ll also shadow experienced physical therapists and assist local staff with daily care duties.
Your goal is to increase your patients’ quality of life through treatment. You will also work alongside our partner organizations to help patients develop so that they can become more independent.
Writing up treatment plans and patient files
Keeping up to date with note taking and case files is essential. Future interns need to have a reliable record of what has been done as well as each patient’s progress. If you've completed one year of your studies, you will have assistance from a qualified physical therapist. If you have completed two years or more of your training, you will complete this documentation yourself.
Assisting with the training and development of local staff
Although there are trained local physical therapists in Cambodia, many caregivers lack the knowledge needed to treat the patients at the centers correctly. Throughout your internship, you will help by sharing your knowledge and professional skills with these staff members. This will better equip them for caring for the patients.
You’ll also be able to share new treatment techniques and knowledge with local physical therapists.
Creating practical solutions when resources are lacking
There are a large number of disabled people in Cambodia and the funds and resources needed to treat them are extremely limited. This means that the rehabilitation center might not have all of the equipment and resources that you’re used to working with at home.
You will need to think out of the box and create practical, low-cost alternatives wherever possible in order to achieve the desired results.
Where in Cambodia will I be working?
You'll be placed at one of three rehabilitation centers in Phnom Penh where you will work with adults and children that are living with a variety of conditions. You'll be placed according to your level of experience, as each placement has different needs and requirements.
Situated on the Mekong River, Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia. Renowned for its architecture and friendliness, this vibrant city is home to plenty of markets, restaurants, and attractions. It’s a popular tourist destination.
A typical day on the Physical Therapy internship in Cambodia
On working days, you will travel to and from your placement via tuk tuk, which is a large motorized tricycle. Your transport to and from your placement is provided and paid for by Projects Abroad.
You’ll work from around 8.30am to 11am and then again from 1.30pm to 4.30pm. In between your shifts, you can head back to your accommodation for lunch. Alternatively, you can bring a packed lunch along with you to work.
During work hours, you will shadow other physiotherapists and help treat patients. You’ll also write up treatment plans and patient files. If you have the experience, you can work with local staff to improve their skills.
At the end of the work day you’re free to relax. Explore the city, stroll through a market, or go out to a restaurant for dinner. Alternatively, head back to the shared apartment and get to know your fellow interns and volunteers.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The aim of this project is to give disadvantaged adults, children, and babies in Cambodia the physical therapy treatment they need.
Many people living with disabilities and diseases in Cambodia cannot afford treatment. This means that a large number of patients don’t receive the support and healthcare that they need. Having you on board means that we can improve quality of life for more people.
We’re working towards four long-term, sustainable goals that are outlined in our Medical Management Plan:
- Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups
- Improve the quality of specialized or alternative healthcare provided
- Encourage an understanding of medical practices and promote an exchange of medical knowledge
- Improve hygiene standards
Help us achieve these goals by joining our Physical Therapy internship in Cambodia.
Volunteering for professionals
This project is also perfect for qualified professionals. With your skills backing up our ongoing efforts, we can make an even bigger difference together. We'll match you to the placement where your skills are needed most.
This means you can share your training and and knowledge with others. You can work hand-in-hand with our partner organisations and local communities to support sustainable development.
If you have relevant skills or qualifications, read more about how you can make use of them with Projects Abroad.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food and accommodation
You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns during your stay in Phnom Penh. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.
The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Leisure activities and free time
Explore Cambodia and you will be amazed by the juxtaposition of vibrant cities, achingly beautiful scenery, and famous historical landmarks. This country has a lot to offer during your free time.
The world-famous gathering of temples near Siem Reap is a must for all visitors, especially the magnificent Angkor Wat. Climbing over huge tree roots to temple doorways shrouded by vines is guaranteed to bring out the Indiana Jones in you!
However, Cambodia offers far more than ancient temples. You can go trekking in the jungles or try snorkelling and dolphin-spotting in the seas surrounding Sihanoukville. For a more relaxed afternoon, you can spend time on one of the beautiful beaches.
What’s more, with a network of international volunteers in Cambodia with you, you can decide if you want to spend your free time exploring independently or in a group.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
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