“Simply amazing! ISL helped me realize that Physical Therapy is what I want to do for my career 100%. It is so rewarding personally and I left with friendships that were so close after just one week, which I never thought possible. Best experience of my life!”

–Stacey O., Grand Valley State University

About

ISL’s Physical Therapy teams are hands on and highly specialized.  Volunteers learn methods of restoring functional movement, perform orthopedic massage, and learn to assess and evaluate soft tissue manually, without the aid of x-ray and MRI testing, an excellent triage method for determining the site and extent of an injury when high tech equipment is not available.

Our Physical Therapy teams provide evaluations and services during home visits and within health care facilities and community clinics, assessing patient needs, providing relief from pain, and offering education and insight. Physical therapy volunteers are able to receive an invaluable opportunity to not only observe physical therapist in action, but to actively assist with important aspects of physical therapy treatment.

Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants may complete the “Global Community Health” coursework and earn 30 Continuing Education Units. Learn more about our Physical Therapy CE Program here. If interested, please contact your Volunteer Experience Coordinator before travel for more information.

Who Is Right For Physical Therapy Teams?

ISL’s physical therapy teams are ideal for physical therapists, physical therapy students at all education levels, and students and professionals in massage therapy and sports medicine. *PT volunteers to Costa Rica must have completed a basic course in anatomy and physiology.

What to Expect

Upon arrival in-country, you will be met at the airport by ISL staff. Your first day will be busy with orientation and intensive training seminars on orthopedic massage for shoulders, neck, knees, elbows, hips, and legs, and the assessment and treatment of soft tissue injuries, as well as patient intake and medical Spanish.

PT teams work in homes for the elderly and disabled, assisting professional caregivers in providing orthopedic massage and physical therapy. In the community, PT teams visit homes to provide basic health screenings and invite those with muscular tension/pain to a field clinic staffed by a local physical therapist. At the clinic, you will have the opportunity to rotate through patient intake and manual soft tissue assessments, and pharmacy stations. You will also learn to maintain and manage support equipment, inventories, and supplies.

In the evenings, you will participate in educational seminars on PT issues. Your team will eat most dinners out in order to relax and experience the local culture and cuisine. You will learn a few traditional dances and explore some important historical/cultural sites.

Recreational options vary by location, but you will have the opportunity to shop for local crafts and explore geographic treasures such as beaches, volcanoes, rainforests, or caves and explore ruins, city centers, or coffee plantations, and have time for activities such as ziplining, snorkeling, or safari!

Volunteer Involvement

PT teams work in homes for the elderly and disabled, assisting professional caregivers in providing orthopedic massage and physical therapy. In the community, PT teams visit homes to provide basic health screenings and invite those with muscular tension/pain to a field clinic staffed by a local physical therapist. At the clinic, you will have the opportunity to rotate through patient intake and manual soft tissue assessments, and pharmacy stations. You will also learn to maintain and manage support equipment, inventories, and supplies.

You may choose NOT to participate in any aspect of patient care with which you are uncomfortable.

Safety and Respect

For the sake of security, ISL volunteers remain together as a team from arrival to departure. Patient rights must be respected at all times; Patients have the right to refuse treatment.

ISL prohibits discrimination on the basis of color, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, religion or any other factor.

What To Bring

You will need scrubs, donations of medications (optional), goniometer, massage lotion, exam gloves, pump bottles of Biofreeze (optional), gait belt (optional), and funds sufficient to cover one meal per day, premium recreation, personal spending, and departure tax.

What ISL Provides

ISL provides 24-hour accompaniment by professional, bilingual staff, airport pickup/drop off, all ground transportation, all lodging, two meals per day, drinking water, instruction by licensed physical therapists, medications and supplies, and tours and basic recreation.

Countries with upcoming Physical Therapy Program Teams

24 teams found

#BAJA423PT7 - Physical Therapy Team in Mexico: Baja from Apr 23, 2017 to Apr 29, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working with local health agencies to provide much needed physical therapy services in one of three ISL partner communities in and around Puerto Peñasco. They will also have the opportunity to explore the colorful Mexican culture and spicy cuisine and enjoy the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#CR429PT9 - Physical Therapy Team in Costa Rica from Apr 29, 2017 to May 07, 2017 for $1995

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide physical therapy services to those in need. While in Costa Rica they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#BAJA57PT7 - Physical Therapy Team in Mexico: Baja from May 07, 2017 to May 13, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working with local health agencies to provide much needed physical therapy services in one of three ISL partner communities in and around Puerto Peñasco. They will also have the opportunity to explore the colorful Mexican culture and spicy cuisine and enjoy the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Just 2 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#BAJA521PT7 - Physical Therapy Team in Mexico: Baja from May 21, 2017 to May 27, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working with local health agencies to provide much needed physical therapy services in one of three ISL partner communities in and around Puerto Peñasco. They will also have the opportunity to explore the colorful Mexican culture and spicy cuisine and enjoy the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

#CR527PT9 - Physical Therapy Team in Costa Rica from May 27, 2017 to Jun 04, 2017 for $1995

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide physical therapy services to those in need. While in Costa Rica they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 2 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#BAJA64PT7 - Physical Therapy Team in Mexico: Baja from Jun 04, 2017 to Jun 10, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working in with local health agencies to partner in providing much needed health services in the San Raphael community. They will also have the opportunity to explore the culture and cuisine and enjoy the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#CR610PT9 - Physical Therapy Team in Costa Rica from Jun 10, 2017 to Jun 18, 2017 for $1895

Volunteers will be working in ISL partner communities to provide physical therapy services to those in need. While in Costa Rica they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#BAJA618PT7 - Physical Therapy Team in Mexico: Baja from Jun 18, 2017 to Jun 24, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working in with local health agencies to partner in providing much needed health services in the San Raphael community. They will also have the opportunity to explore the culture and cuisine and enjoy the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Just 1 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#CR624PT9 - Physical Therapy Team in Costa Rica from Jun 24, 2017 to Jul 02, 2017 for $1895

Volunteers will be working in developing communities to provide physical therapy services to those in need. They will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Just 3 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!

#BAJA72PT7 - Physical Therapy Team in Mexico: Baja from Jul 02, 2017 to Jul 08, 2017 for $1395

Volunteers will be working in with local health agencies to partner in providing much needed health services in the San Raphael community. They will also have the opportunity to explore the culture and cuisine and enjoy the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Just 2 more volunteers to make this trip a 'go'!