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Cambodia - Medical Aid

Shadow medical professionals in Cambodia! Experience life in Samraong while providing assistance at a local, understaffed hospital.



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectSamraong, Cambodia
Project LengthMin 1 week - Max 8 weeks
Arrival AirportSiem Reap International Airport
Volunteer WorkProviding medical aid, shadowing health professionals
Number of ParticipantsUp to 4 international volunteers
Age18 - 70

What's Included

AccommodationVolunteer house in Samraong
Food3 meals a day (excluding lunch on the weekends)
Orientation KitAll necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersAirport pickup upon arrival
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage

What's Not Included

Flights, personal expenses, lunch on the weekends, visa (if required)


Samraong is the capital of Oddar Meanchey Province, Cambodia's newest province, which is on the border with Thailand. To this day, the town is still recovering from a long civil war, which resulted in decades of isolation. Most people visit Samraong to do much-needed development work. Samraong is about 120 km away from Siem Reap (about 4 hours by car). 


About the Project

In 2008, this organization joined forces with Oddar Meanchey’s provincial government and began partnering with NGOs to initiate several volunteering projects in the Northern Cambodian countryside.

This project’s goal is to provide affordable medical treatment to Samraong's community members at one of its main hospitals. The main hospital has 15 doctors, 36 nurses and 2 midwives; an insufficient number for the amount of patients seeking medical care. Often patients who need medical assistance outnumber the staff, resulting in patients leaving without being seen. In addition, this hospital has recently introduced a free HIV testing facility, which has expanded their treatment abilities, but created greater stress on the hospital staff. 


Volunteer Work and Contribution

The project staff will make every effort to place you in the appropriate volunteer role based on your skills and experience. The hospital director will determine your volunteer schedule based on your resume, prior experience, and qualifications. 

You will begin your placement observing and monitoring hospital practices.  Unless you're qualified to assist with more hands-on tasks, you will primarily be shadowing a doctor or nurse. Your tasks may include: 

  • Shadowing a nurse while he/she takes patients' vital signs
  • Shadowing a doctor during patient consultations
  • Dressing wounds (if qualified)
  • Assisting in different operations, such appendectomies and cesarean sections (if qualified)

In accordance with Cambodian law, you will also always be under the supervision of a registered doctor.

Typical day: You will work from around 8 am until 5pm, with a lunch break at the accommodation at approximately 11am,  Monday to Friday. The schedule for this program is highly flexible and depends a lot on the local needs and requirements, as well as your skills. You will generally have your evenings free. 


Living Arrangements

Accommodations: During your volunteer placement,  you will stay in the main volunteer house in Samraong. The house can accommodate up to 28 people with 4 people in each room. All rooms come with a fan, shower (no hot water), mosquito net, and a western - flush toilet. It is about a 10-minute bike ride from the volunteer house to the hospital. 

Food: From Monday-Friday, three meals a day are provided. On the weekends, only brunch and dinner are provided.  The food will be Cambodian fare, including plenty of rice dishes.

Internet: Free Wi-Fi at the volunteer house.

Laundry: There are limited laundry facilities so expect to hand wash your clothes.


Culture Week (highly recommended)

For an additional fee you can extend your stay for a week with a program designed to introduce you to a great stay in a new country. As part of your orientation week, you will receive basic language classes to help you get around the country without a hassle. You will also have the opportunity to take some traditional cooking classes as well as travel to some of the finest temples in the area, engaging in Q&A sessions with monks to enhance your understanding of Buddhism and its customs. Throughout the week, there will many opportunities to interact with the local residents, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the community.


Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum age 18
  • Good level of English
  • Works well under pressure
  • Flexible and able to adapt quickly to a new environment
  • Police clearance form
  • Pre-medical student, medical student or qualified nurse/doctor
  • Malaria precautions

Here's an excerpt of Nicola's experience:

  "...the hospital staff, despite their limited English, were helpful and just as excited to learn from us as we were from them! We taught them how to use their EEG machine and defibrillator. It seems almost unthinkable that these machines could be possessed and yet not used due to lack of knowledge. This was extremely rewarding for us to be a part of."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Here's an excerpt of Lauren's experience:

  "I was able to offer my Western training to aid the dedicated nurses and doctors in treating these individuals. I was able to discuss what the best treatment options werewith each medical doctor for the countless patients that came in including, hypoglycemic (malnutrition), gastritis, malaria, typhoid, TB, and emergency patients."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Here's an excerpt of Chase's experience:

  "My first involvement was with a man who had scrapes on his face. I timidly wiped some of the iodine disinfectant liquid into his face. The second patient had a bad case of appendicitis. He was getting better and today he had a tube that was collecting pus removed. The next patient had cellulitis on his foot. I rubbed the foot with disinfectant and cut the dead skin away. Then, I bound his foot with gauze."

Read the rest of his story on the GoEco blog!


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