Vellore, India - Virtual

Date: Flexible

Partner: Health Volunteers Overseas

Cost: There is no cost to be a volunteer, however HVO membership is encouraged.

About Health Volunteers Overseas: Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the availability and quality of health care through the education, training, and professional development of the health workforce in resource-scarce countries. Working collaboratively with our partners abroad, HVO volunteers engage in activities such as delivering didactic and clinical trainings, offering case consultations, providing curricular input for teaching institutions, or revising administrative and clinical procedures for health care facilities. While in-person volunteer assignments are on hiatus due to COVID-19, HVO is offering remote volunteer opportunities. In 2021, HVO volunteers provided over 4,000 hours of e-learning and online support to health professionals at over 45 different institutions. Once travel is possible again, both in-person and remote volunteer opportunities will be available.

About the Mission: Volunteers provide continuing education for physiotherapy staff and students at Christian Medical College (CMC). The lectures are delivered through Zoom.

Volunteers must have a current license to practice physical therapy in the US or Canada. Retired physical therapists may also apply. Most areas of expertise are accepted, but the volunteer must have at least two years of clinical experience. Prior teaching experience in continuing education, clinical, or academic environment required. Recruitment is ongoing.

CMC is a 2,166-bed hospital in the town of Vellore (population 450,000), 90 miles west of Chennai. It is a well-known medical center that draws patients from all parts of India as well as Bangladesh, Nepal, and other surrounding countries. CMC’s outpatient department handles an average of 5,000 patients daily. No patient at CMC is turned away because of the inability to pay.

Typical treatment in the physical therapy department lasts 20 minutes on average, totaling 1,000 treatments for 500 patients per day. Aside from the outpatient department, physical therapists also provide treatment in orthopedic, neuro, surgical ICU, medical ICU, cardiothoracic, and pediatric departments. There is a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program where PTs, OTs, social workers, psychologists, orthotists, physicians, nurses, and speech therapists provide services for patients.

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