International Nursing Internships in Kenya
- PLACEMENT LOCATION: Nanyuki
- ROLE: To gain valuable nursing experience working alongside skilled local staff in a variety of hospital departments
- Requirements: None
- TYPES OF PLACEMENTS: Hospitals, health clinics, homes for the elderly, and some medical outreach work
- ACCOMMODATION: Host family
- LENGTH OF PLACEMENT: From 2 weeks
- START DATES: Flexible
As a Projects Abroad Nursing intern in Kenya, you have the opportunity to help people in under-resourced medical institutions in the developing world and gain work experience.
Projects Abroad works with both small health clinics and government hospitals in Kenya, allowing interns the opportunity to work in a variety of different departments and to work closely alongside local medical staff. Nursing interns can also choose a more care based setting to work with children with learning disabilities.
Nursing interns in Kenya work in and around the town of Nanyuki, which is 200km north-east of Nairobi. In both the smaller health clinics and the larger hospitals interns find themselves working with patients who have a wide range of illnesses. There are many different departments in most of the hospitals we work with including maternity, general medicine, surgery, paediatrics, and in the laboratory.
Interns can choose whether they want to work in a variety of departments or whether they want to focus on one in particular. Nursing interns can also indicate if they would prefer working with adults, children, and/or mental health patients.
The hospitals and clinics we work with in Nanyuki are varied and offer their patients a variety of treatments and specialized departments even though they have limited resources. Treatments are sometimes not of the standard we would expect in North America. You should be prepared to see some shocking cases and try not to get emotionally involved with the patients.
Interning Abroad as a Nurse in Kenya with Projects Abroad
Your exact role within the hospital, care centre, or clinic will be determined by your level of experience as well as the enthusiasm and effort which you show to the local staff. Pre-university interns usually start by observing the nurses. You may find more practical opportunities arise once you get to know the local staff and if you can demonstrate a good understanding of local medical conditions.
The role of interns who already have some nursing experience also varies and it is important to build up trust and a good relationship with the local medical staff. The kinds of tasks you may help with include dressing wounds, monitoring a pulse, and checking blood pressure and temperature.
Your working hours will be discussed with your supervisor, but you will normally be expected to work at least 5 hours a day from Monday to Friday.
We hold regular workshops for all our Medical and Healthcare interns. These are usually run by our qualified medical coordinator in Nanyuki. These workshops give you the opportunity to ask about specific things you have seen during your internship and also to learn different techniques and skills which you can then put into practice when you go to work at your internship.
Interns may have the opportunity to take part in medical outreach work which often involves traveling to local villages, rural areas, or orphanages to carry out basic medical checks on the local community.
I worked at different hospitals and had the opportunity to assist the nurses in the HIV clinic. This was one of the most interesting placements as HIV is something I had very little knowledge on due to its lack of prevalence in the UK. The nurses were very helpful and took the time to explain things to me in great detail. This was particularly useful when most of the patients spoke little English. Read more...
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Kenya Medicine & Healthcare Management Plan.
While interning on your Nursing project, you will live with a host family in or near Nanyuki. This allows you to experience the real day-to-day life in Kenya. You have the opportunity to spend your free time with the Projects Abroad volunteer community exploring Nanyuki and the surrounding areas.
Nursing internships in Kenya are available for shorter periods than 4 weeks. While you will be able to gain valuable medical experience on a short-term trip, we recommend staying for a longer period to allow yourself more time to get to know the local medical system, see more of a variety of conditions and procedures, and develop stronger relationships with local medical staff.
All volunteers participating on standard projects in Kenya have the opportunity to spend one week on a Conservation & Environment project at the end of their main placement. For more information, please visit our African Savannah Conservation & Environment Project in Kenya page. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.