Is a Nursing Internship in Ghana right for me?
Our Nursing Internship in Ghana is ideal for students looking for work experience before or during university.
This is a great accompaniment to your studies and will give you a clearer idea of the work you do on a daily basis. If your goal is a career in nursing, the skills you learn during your internship will be a valuable addition to your CV.
No experience? No problem! The goal of this internship is for you to learn, and you’ll gain a lot from shadowing local nurses and doctors. We recommend taking advantage of any opportunity to ask questions and take notes.
Your medical coordinator will teach you what you need to know before you work at any outreaches, and will there to supervise you throughout.
Our Nursing Internship in Ghana runs throughout the year, and you can join at any time.
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Shadow nurses as they work with patients in the hospital
A big part of your placement will see you observing and following nurses as they do their rounds. This will give you an idea of what nurses do on a daily basis. At your nursing placement in Ghana, you will see for yourself how important nurses are in the smooth functioning of a hospital. They care for patients, monitor them, and administer medication.
Experience work in different hospital departments
Hospitals in Ghana have different departments to meet the needs of the growing population. We recommend using this this opportunity to intern several, spending at least a week in which one. You'll see different illnesses and injuries across different departments. This will also give you a better idea on which departments you wish to work in in the future.
Provide free health checks and run educational campaigns at medical outreaches
You’ll take part in medical outreach work once or twice a week. Here, you’ll assist the nurses with basic healthcare checks at a leprosy camp, care centre, or in more remote areas. Here are a few of the tasks you do:
- Clean wounds
- Treat ringworm
- Check blood sugar levels
- Check blood pressure levels
- Conduct malaria and Hepetitis B tests
- Help nurses refer patients with positive test results
- Help distribute medication
Another part of our outreach work is focused on education. Education is a huge part of empowering local communities and an important prevention method. Our goal is to improve standards of health in the community. We do this by creating awareness around various diseases and share knowledge about prevention and treatment. You will help with setting up and running these campaigns. These activities will give you invaluable nursing work experience in Ghana.
What type of nursing placements are available in Ghana?
You’ll work in Cape Coast, Dodowa, or Accra. In Cape Coast, you work at a teaching hospital. In Dodowa, you’re placed at the regional hospital. In Accra, you work at a general hospital. All three nursing placements in Ghana have various hospital departments. We encourage you to stay in each department for at least a week so you can get the full experience.
- General medicine
- Accident and emergency
- General medicine
- General surgery
- Accident and emergency
- General medicine
- Accident and emergency
We recommend discussing the different departments you’d like to intern in ahead of your trip with your Volunteer Advisor. On your first day at the hospital, you’ll discuss your work schedule with your project coordinator and meet your supervisor.
Where will I be working in Ghana?
Our Nursing Internships are based in Dodowa, Cape Coast, or Accra. Found in the Southern part of Ghana, these areas are complete opposites.
This easy-going fishing town was once the largest slave-trading centre in West Africa. Historical architecture and the worn colonial buildings standing tall along the streets are a few of the things that reveal the history of the city. The hospital where you work is one of the most modern in Ghana. It is a public hospital that also serves as a teaching hospital for local medical students.
Ghana’s capital city is a thriving trading centre and serves as the country’s administrative, economic, and educational centre. You’ll work at a general hospital and assist local nurses with the patients that come in to to be treated by the doctors. As Accra is the largest city in Ghana, you’ll see a variety of different medical conditions and treatment methods.
A typical day on the Nursing Internship in Ghana
Start your day after a good night's sleep in your host family’s home. Get dressed, eat breakfast and grab a tro tro or shared taxi to get to the hospital. Don’t forget your white coat!
Your day starts at about 8am, Monday to Friday. This will, however, depend on the department you are working in . Finish up around 2pm or opt to stay longer and continue your observations. Just be sure to check with your supervisor and the local staff beforehand.
Each day, you will find yourself assisting the nurses as they go around the hospital cleaning their ward, bathing and grooming patients and remaking beds. You’ll often spend the next hour shadowing the doctor in the ward as he visits each of his patients. Under the supervision of the local nurses, you can help check vital signs and administer medication according to doctor’s instructions.
If you’d like to head home for the day, head back to your host family's house. Tuck into a home-cooked meal of jollof, a traditional rice dish of rice with tomato sauce and meat, fish or chicken. You can then depend time getting to know your host family and playing games or watching movies in the evening.
In your free time, you can explore more of Ghana by renting a tro-tro for the day. We encourage you to learn more about Ghana’s history by visiting the Cape Coast castle. There are also a lot of hikes in the national parks. If you’d like recommendations, you can speak to our staff. They will be able to give you the best advice and tips on what to see and do while you are there.
What are the aims and impact of this Nursing internship?
The aim of this internship is for you to learn from qualified nurses in a medical setting, and get experience in various hospital departments.
Working in different departments is a way for you to explore different specialisations if you plan to become a nurse. This will help you get a better idea of the departments you’d like to work in in the future. It will also allow you to add amazing experience to your CV, and give you more to talk about in interviews.
Besides getting nursing work experience in Ghana, you will also help make a difference.
Ghana suffers from a double burden of disease. Infectious diseases like cholera and malaria are rife, and cases of illnesses like diabetes and hypertension are on the rise. We want to help communities prevent and manage these diseases through our outreach work.
To accomplish this, we implemented a Medicine Management Plan, which has five clear goals:
- Encourage an understanding of medical practices and promoting an exchange of medical knowledge
- Improve access to basic healthcare for disadvantaged groups through outreach work in leprosy camps and schools
- Promote awareness of non-communicable diseases
- Improve the quality of healthcare provided to patients
- Reduce the number of cases of malaria
Join us on the Nursing Internship in Ghana and broaden your medical knowledge and skill set.
Professional volunteers and medical electives for students
This project is also ideally suited to professionals interested in using their skills to help, as well as university medical and healthcare elective students.
As a professional, you can be sure we will match your training and expertise to the placement where you are needed most. With your support, we can make an even bigger impact on the local communities we work with.
If you are an elective student, we will organise an elective placement where you can learn as much as possible. We want you gain the knowledge and skills that will begin to shape your professional career.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Volunteering in Ghana is an ideal way to explore this colourful West African country. There’s a huge variety of different activities to do while you’re there, giving you plenty of exciting ways to spend your free time.
Music is a central part of Ghanaian culture. In the bigger towns, especially Accra, you will hear some great live bands and have some memorable nights out. Evenings spent at buzzing restaurants will also give you a taste of some of the delicious local cuisine.
For a look into Ghana’s history, you can tour the slave forts of Cape Coast and visit museums. Nature lovers will relish trekking through the rainforests of Kakum National Park or Mole National Park.
We run a wide range of projects in Ghana so there’s sure to be other volunteers there during your trip. This means you can explore the country solo or connect with other volunteers and travel as a group.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
Meet the team in Ghana
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