Hand Therapy Volunteer Opportunities

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The trip was a great experience. Being able to see how orthopedic trauma and congenital hand pathology presents in a developing world expands my knowledge of my field. This aspect also reinforced to me the importance of continued support and education for the developing world to enhance the care and treatment of all individuals with the most effective and current treatments.

-HVO Hand Therapy Volunteer to Nicaragua


There are multiple steps to the placement process and often more than one approval is required. The process varies slightly from country-to-country and project-to-project. We strive to make this process as quick as possible but potential volunteers should be aware that final approval can take several months.

Note: We also have opportunities for hand therapists at some of our physical therapy projects.


Kumasi, Ghana – Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH)

Volunteers will work with physiotherapists, hand surgeons, residents and fellows to train on current standards of treatment in hand therapy intervention. Training will be a combination of didactic and clinical instruction methods in the clinic. Hand therapists are encouraged to go in pairs and welcome to collaborate with hand surgeons when possible. HVO will recruit two teams of two volunteers per year.

Ghana Sites

Assignment: 2-4 weeks

Teaching Topics: Hand therapy – all topics; trauma and complex multi-trauma, nerve injury, burns, and wound care, as well as splinting skills of particular interest

Opportunities for Those-in-Training: No.

Qualifications: Certified in hand therapy; current physical or occupational therapy license (active or retired); 3-5 years clinical experience; teaching experience preferred.

Activities: Clinical training, continuing education, didactic instruction, education material development, faculty/staff training, formal lecturing, mentoring, protocol development, research advising.

Housing: Housing is provided.

Companions: Suitable for companion/spouse; suitable for children.

Managua, Nicaragua – Hospital La Mascota

Please note: HVO is not currently placing volunteers at this project.
This joint hand surgery/hand therapy program augments the training for hand therapists and surgeons. Volunteers are involved in training through lecturing, conducting rounds, demonstrating specialty expertise, and attending weekly conferences for staff, residents, and hand therapists. Volunteers act as consultants in the out-patient clinic and provide clinical instruction.

Assignment: 1 week

Teaching Topics: Hand therapy – all topics

Opportunities for Those-in-Training: No.

Qualifications: Certification in hand therapy; fluency in Spanish recommended.

Activities: Clinical training, continuing education, departmental conferences, didactic instruction, faculty/staff training, formal lecturing, grand rounds, mentoring.

Housing: Volunteer responsible for housing; information on nearby facilities provided.

Companions: Suitable for companion/spouse; suitable for children.