HealthCare volunteer in Thailand
The Healthcare programme in Thailand really is an unforgettable experience and is a great opportunity for you to get to know the ‘real Thailand. Based in Surin, a rural province of Thailand you’ll get the chance to work in a small community clinic under the guidance of fully qualified local staff.
The clinic is located in a very friendly local community where the majority of people are farmers and have had very tough, physical lives in a challenging climate. Whilst healthcare provision has improved enormously in Thailand over the last 20 years, there is still a huge amount of education to be done in certain areas and the clinic work very hard not only to treat illnesses and ailments but also to encourage the villagers and surrounding small communities to be pro-active in looking after their health.
Serving a community of around 10,000 people the clinic is based in a village around 30 minutes from Surin town and it acts very much as the first port of call to villagers with medical issues ranging from relatively minor cuts and illnesses to more serious conditions such as diabetes, viruses and long term stress and hypertension.
Your role at the clinic will vary tremendously depending on your skills and experience and the ailments being treated by the staff when you are there. All your work is directed by the professional Thai staff at the clinic and whilst they enjoy greatly the support and commitment from volunteers, they do understandably request that you show high levels of cultural understanding and respect the fact that they are fully qualified under the Thai Healthcare system. You may well find that the way in which conditions are treated are, from time to time, different that how you may be used to in your own country, but this is a great opportunity to learn and support rather than to seek to change or criticise the local methods used.
The clinic does also have a small section devoted to more traditional Thai healing herbal remedies which you may find very interesting – Thailand is developing quickly and whilst modern health care provision can be very good, communities and medical staff still utilise some more traditional herbals methods which have proved their benefits over generations.
Surin is a typical, vibrant Thai town and whilst not as developed as many Western towns it is packed with character and charm. The people are friendly, the food is tasty, spicy, and cheap; and spending time here will be an unforgettable and authentic Thai experience!
Volunteers have been learning and assisting at this small rural medical clinic for several years and both the clinic and the visitors have found the experience to be mutually beneficial – with volunteers supporting the small medical team with the regular duties and the volunteers learning about the challenges and differences of healthcare provision in rural Thailand.
The clinic runs several core health programmes and initiatives throughout each year and the precise activities you can observe and become involved in of course are driven and set by the clinic itself. Please be understanding about this – the clinic is a fully operational healthcare centre set up and run for the benefit of the villagers and their needs rather than those of the staff or volunteers.
Whilst the duties that you are able to assist with will depend very much on your training and skills, and the judgement of the local professional medical staff (who of course have the last say over everything anyone does at the clinic) examples of the activities you can expect to be a part of during your time include:
- Conducting general health checks with villages including the on-going recording of weight, height and waist measurements.
- Participating in regular hypertension clinics
- Participating in regular diabetes clinics
- Learning about the villagers health challenges and efforts to ensure that the community takes responsibility for remaining fit and healthy – common areas focused on include prevention of Dengue fever, issues around planned pregnancy and birth control etc
- Joining the Thai medical staff on home visits
- Child development assessment clinics
- The treatment and dressing of wounds, sutures etc
- Assisting the local team with the diagnosis of medical conditions (subject of course to your training and skills)
- Packing and distributing medications and medical materials
You can expect to leave Surin town around 8 each morning (sometimes earlier depending on the activities that day at the clinic) and return home between 2:30 and 4:30 pm each day – depending again on how busy the clinic is and what work is being done that day. Whilst it can be tiring working in the hot and often humid climate, there is plenty of time at the end of each day to rest up, meet others participating in other programmes based in Surin and, of course, explore the town and local area.
All The Details
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- Pre-Departure Notes and Support
- Free airport pick-up on arrivals day between 06:00 and 22:00 from BKK airport.
- Accommodation for the duration of your stay, including two nights in a guesthouse in Bangkok for your arrival
- Guided Bangkok tour
- Transfer to your programme location
- Bangkok orientation and localised programme orientation
- Daily transfers to and from your programme location
- Full support from our local team in your programme location
- 24-hour emergency support
Whats Not Included in your program fee :
- Your flights
- Meals (very cheap in Thailand!)
- Transfer back to Bangkok / onwards travel at the end of your trip
- Entrance fee to the Grand Palace during the Bangkok tour
- Travel insurance
- Activities in your ‘down time’ from the programme
- The nearest airport for this program is Bangkok Airport ( BKK )
- Thailand has Visas on arrival which makes life much easier!
- Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program. For help with flights and insurance fill in this form
- Vaccinations are important. We recommend you visit your local travel clinic to find out what vaccines you should take.
- We work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for travel to Thailand. Goto www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo to find out how best to avoid trouble when abroad. Packed with essential travel advice and tips, the website also offers up-to-date country information.
- We understand it can be difficult to pay for your flights, program fees and other travel costs. Many fundraise for their journey. If you need ideas and a platform for fundraising ideas Click Here
- For support on any of the above email us firstname.lastname@example.org
- Day 1 Arrival day. Meet your fellow travellers and our dedicated team, enjoy the sights and sounds of Bangkok.
- Day 2 Orientation and Bangkok Tour. A great day sightseeing and then spend an evening on the famous Khao San Road.
- Day 3 Transfer to Surin. You and your group will take the train to Surin. Taking around 8 hours it is an experience in itself. Sit back in the air conditioning and enjoy the journey. Be sure to take plenty of photos as you watch the Thai countryside go by.
- Day 4 to 7 Working at the Medical Clinic You will be picked up at a designated meeting point each morning and driven to the project. A member of the team will help you settle in and get started. Your average day would run between 8am to 4pm. The clinic is 30 minutes from the accommodation.
- Day 8: Depending on the length of programme you’ve booked!
If you’ve booked a 1 week Healthcare experience, you’ll be leaving today either heading back to Bangkok and home or heading onwards for further adventures and travels. Your return transfer to Bangkok isn’t included in the fee but our team in Surin can help you arrange tickets and travel plans to pretty much anywhere – just make sure you ask them in good time.If you’ve booked a 2 week or longer Healthcare experience, then days 8 – 10 are free time. Of course accommodation is provided in the Surin houses – a great opportunity to spend time with other travellers, explore the town and local area and sample some of the great food and nightlife all around – and our team are always on hand (our staff house is less than 5 minutes walk away!). However, this can also be an opportunity to see some other parts of Thailand. Lots of travellers decided to head to Khao Yai National park for the weekend (roughly 3 hours away), many also head to the beach for the weekend and explore the stunning white sand beaches of Koh Samet (this is a much longer journey and takes up to 8 hours each way!). Whatever you want to do, our local team can help make suggestions and assist you in booking transport and even accommodation.For those of you who are staying for 2, 3 or 4 weeks – your programme then repeats itself from Days 4 through to 8, assisting in your local school from Monday to Thursday each week.
What Happens When I Arrive?
Living Arrangements for Volunteer in Thailand:
The accommodation in Surin is in shared, dormitory style accommodation in our Thai houses close to the centre of town.The rooms are clean and comfortable, and all rooms are equipped with fans. The bathrooms are shared with your fellow travellers and have Western style toilets.
There is a kitchen for you to use, and of course the accommodation has WIFI. The accommodation is close to convenience stores, a supermarket, a pharmacy, ATM’s and lots of local street food vendors and small restaurants. Mosquito nets are included for all and the windows have mesh mosquito screens.
Our local team are all based very close to the accommodation and are always on hand to help out should you need any assistance.
Health and Safety :
When you join our programs you can be assured we have carried out Risk Assessments to identify potential safety and health risks on projects and in the community. We share this information with you in our pre departure documents and on arrival. Our local staff are well trained and will be living close to you.
Surin is in a rural part of Thailand and as such you can expect all sorts of different insects and ‘wildlife’ that you might not have encountered before. Ants are common (and guaranteed if you leave any food / scraps out and about), cockroaches are an occasional but unfortunate part of life, particularly during the rainy season, and mice can and do make an occasional appearance, again particularly escaping a heavy rainstorm. None of these are an indication of lack of cleanliness – they happen in the smartest household – rather they are all part and parcel of living and experience ‘real’ Thailand.
WHY VOLUNTEERS LOVE US!
‘My experience in India was absolutely fantastic. Having never done anything like this before, Volunteering Journeys made sure I settled in well and supported me throughout my time. Being placed with an amazing family gave me the chance to experience Indian culture first hand. I was part of the Disabled Childcare Programs for two weeks. Although short, I felt the time I spent was so valuable for the children. If this is something that you are interested in I would 100% recommend it. The memories, friendships and experiences you will develop will be ones that you will never forget.’
‘The teaching experience was second to none. I was overwhelmed by the respect and politeness all the children have, which made it some much easier to work with them, even with the language barrier. The amazing thing about the schools I visited was that all the children are like little sponges, they absorb everything you say, teach and do! It’s quite outstanding how much they gain from just a small conversation in the playground or in the class room.
So in general if you are questioning whether you want to volunteer and you don’t know what company to go with, it has the be Volunteering Journeys. You will be well looked after, gain an immense experience and make friends for life!!!’
‘I took a short sabbatical from work in November 2013 and decided to come to India. I was helping at a small school in Fort Kochi, teaching English, Maths, Science and the odd nursery rhyme. The school where I volunteered had amazing teachers and the kids were great. Ridhi and the team organised everything brilliantly – from cycling tours to the backwaters, to hosting me with a family that made my stay feel like home. If you’re going to volunteer in India then I highly recommend Volunteering Journeys’
“J’ai passé deux mois formidables à Kochi en travaillant comme volontaire avec Volunteering Journeys. Deux mois de ma vie que je n’oublierais jamais. J’ai rencontré des gens incroyables et participé à des projets qui me tenaient vraiment à coeur. J’ai pu voir l’aboutissement de mes efforts et le sourire sur le visage des enfants. Une expérience magique que je recommande à tous. Merci Rainbow”
‘I spent 3 wonderful weeks with the Volunteering Journeys team in Kerala, it marked the beginning of almost 2 months adventuring through India, and I can say without a doubt it was one of my favourite experiences of my time spent in incredible India! From the moment my plane landed and I was greeted by a friendly face and whisked away to a wonderful home, the local staff were incredibly welcoming, helpful, supportive and great fun to be around!
I spent my time volunteering in 2 local schools, assisting with English studies. The enthusiasm and joy with which the children approach their days will ensure you never want to leave!I cannot recommend Volunteering Journeys highly enough, it was such a joyful introduction to India – it’s culture, people and crazy beautiful way of life. You will leave with some fond memories and firm friendships’
‘I volunteered by teaching English both at a school and at an all girls’ orphanage for two months. It has been the best experience of my life so far. I really got to know the children I was teaching and seeing the children’s English improve over my time was an incredible feeling. From being introduced to yoga to tasting delicious flavoursome Indian cuisine and living in “God’s own country”, has left me eager to return. I have made friends across the World who made my time spent in Kerala unforgettable. I highly recommend volunteering with Volunteering Journeys; Kerala is beautiful and you will gain fun memories.’
‘I spent two weeks running an art workshop which was absolutely fantastic. The children were so enthusiastic and bustled about with paste and paint, putting together the most amazing creations. They were not used to producing collaborative work and were thrilled when their individual efforts achieved a glorious whole. Their personalities really shone through and I became very fond of them in the short time I was with them. Thank you to Volunteering Journeys for enabling me to have such a wonderful experience!’
‘There is some kind of magic that happens when you’re in India. The climate, the people, the warm welcome, the happiness in every person, the culture, it’s simply inspiring. On top of that having a group of friendly, thoughtful organizers guiding me through the program made my time volunteering with Volunteering Journeys one of the most memorable moments in my life.
If anyone reading this is considering becoming a volunteer, don’t hesitate, become a volunteer. It will be the most rewarding experience and adventure of your life. I assure you that you will have a vital impact on the community, the place and the children. I would recommend Volunteering Journeys without hesitation. Well organized and hassle free adventure. You get help and guidance with everything you need. Kerala was my destination. Safe, beautiful and very friendly. Just do it and have an adventure of your life!’
“Volunteering at the schools was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Once again the friendships you create are irreplaceable. Admittedly, the first few days were scary, in the sense that my partner and I were only 18 & 20 yrs old and we were teaching women and children a language that was not their first. However the persistence and willingness of Indians is not to be tested. Each of our students put in 100% and naturally we became very personal with everyone and these women and children taught us much more. We came out of this experience with more than we had ever anticipated. It can’t be put into words just how much we learnt from volunteering. Ever aspect of our lives and mindset has changed.”
‘I think it was quite an eye opening experience to kind of see how people live and enjoy their lives very differently to what we do probably in UK. Even though comparatively they didn’t have as much, the children still came to school with a smile on their face and they were really keen to learn. They were ever so happy and always had a smile on their face regardless of the circumstances that they are living in, and I think that was an amazing experience for us to take back. We have comparatively much more wealth in the UK and we have much more available at our fingertips. Yet we were quite not so happy’
‘We decided to volunteer as part of our family vacation. It was the perfect balance: making a contribution but not being asked to do too much, with Volunteering Journeys staff with us every step of the way to help, support, clarify, etc. I was also impressed that they didn’t feed us a line about how we were changing the world in a week; I knew going in that *we* would be the ones most changed, and the staff’s perspective’s was the same: we were making an impact by showing we cared and sharing experiences, which hopefully meant something to a lot of people.’