Healthcare Internship (Hands On Patient Care)

Project Information

Learn and experience up close with us at a local healthcare facility in Costa Rica. Gain medical experience while learning from friendly and professional doctors, nurses, and assistants. Shadow and volunteer under the supervision of well-trained healthcare professionals.  This placement gives volunteers an opportunity to experience how being a healthcare professional would be, while also expanding their knowledge of the field through a hands on experience.

Volunteers  help from the moment a patient arrives by greeting them in a professional manner, filling their charts with medical history and current medical problems, taking their stats and vital signs, and more depending on the emergencies and patients that come in that day. Tasks are usually based on the participant’s experience, education, and capacity to learn. Qualified volunteers  will also have the chance to assist the paramedics and ride in the ambulance in the case of emergencies with the first response paramedic team.

Participants tasks vary greatly depending on their skills, experience, and studies. In some cases, participants will only be allowed to shadow, in others they will be allowed to interact with the patients. Participants will be expected to be professional at all times as well as respectful and self-starters (able to recognize what needs to be done or who needs to be helped). participants will help with charts, vitals, shots, possibly assistance in ambulance rides, and much more. This is a hands-on position and we try to put participants in a position to learn through experience in a safe and professional atmosphere. participants will attend to patients varying needs All medical volunteers must bring scrubs and evidence of their level of education and experience.

Additional Information

While Spanish is not mandatory, please consider that your role while in this program will largely be determined by how well you can communicate- with patients. We also frequently work with educational institutions to make sure that internship roles fulfill the requirements of the Participant institutes. A strong desire to learn about medical field, this program is best for medical students or students interested in pursuing a degree or job in the medical field.

Skills & Qualifications

Participants must be at least 18 years of age. This program is for participants that are staying 2 weeks or longer. Participants are expected to have health insurance, and CPR and first aid certification. Participants will be expected to show proof of both after acceptance to the program. Participants should plan to study basic medical terminology and verbs in Spanish before arrival. Beginner to intermediate knowledge of Spanish is preferred (but not mandatory). If a participant cannot speak Spanish, we suggest that he or she enrolls in our Spanish language program as it will make their stay and experience more rewarding for both the participant as well as the professionals at the hospital. Participants must have a desire to learn and gain experience in the medical field. Participants should be proactive, hardworking, dedicated, respectful, professional, open-minded, eager to learn, flexible, patient, and to possess a passion and love for medical care.



Volunteer's Role


Participants have the option to either stay with well-screened host families or at our headquarters depending mainly on availability and preference. Should participants have a preference, they should let our in-country coordinator know as soon as possible-in their application. We try to accommodate preferences. Host Families are well-screened and offer participants a shared bathroom, private bedroom, electricity, and running water. Headquarters housing offers participants shared bathrooms, hostel-style bedrooms, electricity, running water, and WiFi. Participants receive three light traditional meals per day at either accommodations.


Participants will be given 3 meals per day. Keep in mind that food will be typical Costa Rican food, so participants may want to bring snacks like granola or protein bars with them to the project site.


Participants will work a minimum of 4 hours per day, 5 days per week.


Yes! Evenings and weekends are for you to spend either relaxing, or doing pre planned excursions and activities. We have partnerships with various tour groups to offer participants a number of fun things they can do in addition to their Spanish Immersion Service. Some of the activities we are happy to help plan for your group are: Zip Lining, ATV Tours, Surf Lessons, Beach Days, Tours and Sightseeing, Snorkeling, Boat Tours, Horseback Riding