Occupational Therapist

Category

Therapy

Country

Dominican Republic, El Salvador

Start Date

January 2023

Volunteers Needed

2

Position Description:

The occupational therapists give specialized attention to children and adults with therapy needs in schools and in the homes in which they live, as well as provide ambulatory therapy services in NPH community outreach projects and programs. NPH supports many children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities, and the goal of our therapeutic personnel is to help these children and adults be more included in the groups and communities in which they live. The occupational therapists at NPH participate in our multidisciplinary team, where doctors, psychologists, other therapists, teachers, social workers, and caregivers meet to discuss cases and make work plans and life plans for NPH beneficiaries.

Position Requirements:

  • Qualified candidates must have a university degree in occupational therapy and a valid occupational therapy license.
  • Successful volunteers at NPH have strong leadership skills, are resilient and flexible, and work well in teams.

Language Requirements:

Strong Spanish language skills are critical for success as a volunteer with NPH. NPH tests Spanish language skills of candidates invited for an interview. Applicants who do not have an adequate level of Spanish will be required to attend immersion school prior to beginning service with NPH at their own expense.

Age Requirements:

NPH accepts volunteers at least 21 years of age or older.

While NPH continuously works to support and protect its volunteers from harm, the organization recognizes that not all risks can be eliminated. Therefore, it is imperative for volunteers to understand that many of the countries where NPH operates are greatly affected by poverty, oftentimes causing high incidents of violence and crime in the countries. Volunteers must also recognize that these countries are susceptible to political and civil unrest. Though the NPH beneficiaries, staff, and volunteers who work and live at NPH sites are insulated from conflict and violence, violence and unrest has increased in many Latin American and the Caribbean countries due to corruption, gang activity, drug trafficking, unemployment, and poverty.

The national directors and volunteer coordinators in the NPH countries of service are responsible for conducting safety trainings and orientations for volunteers, specific to the local context. The volunteers are responsible for following safety rules and guidelines to ensure their personal safety and wellbeing at all times. NPH local staff and NPH International constantly assess the local security situation of countries where NPH hosts volunteers.

If a volunteer’s safety or wellbeing is compromised, both local NPH staff as well as NPH International will work to either resolve the situation or to provide the volunteer with an alternative option for service. If a decision is made to evacuate volunteers from a country, NPH will work to remove volunteers safely and efficiently from the locale. If an individual volunteer feels unsafe or uncomfortable in a host country, NPH will work with the volunteer to make the best decision for the volunteer’s wellbeing.

Volunteers must be aware of the complex local situations in which they live and work, but also understand that if they take necessary precautions, they will have a safe and enjoyable stay. NPH requests that during service, volunteers engage in safe and healthy lifestyle habits, avoid dangerous situations, remain informed about the host country’s situation, and exercise sound judgment at all times, both on and off NPH property.

Volunteers are encouraged to leave NPH property for leisure and recreation, and many are obligated to do so for their work assignments. However, it is of the utmost importance that volunteers use precaution when doing so. Despite high crime rates in countries where NPH works, most international volunteers’ stays in these countries are incident-free. Nonetheless, volunteers must be aware of their surroundings and assume full responsibility for their personal safety at all times.

Please note that failure to abide by safety rules put in place by the NPH country of service is grounds for immediate dismissal.

Good health is of utmost importance for the volunteers. Pre-existing conditions do not disqualify an applicant from service, but it can be difficult to get the same type of care they may have in his or her country of origin. Volunteers live and work in difficult conditions and will be exposed to tropical illnesses and other vector-borne diseases. Volunteers have access to basic primary healthcare services provided by NPH in our on-site clinics, staffed by local physicians and nurses. Extraordinary care can be sought outside of NPH, but the volunteer will have to assume all costs and burden of the services. All volunteers will be provided with health insurance with international coverage for their year of service.

Prior to beginning service, all volunteers must submit a Health Statement, completed by a certified physician. Additional documentation will be required for applicants with pre-existing conditions, including mental health conditions. Applicants who take permanent or chronic medications must bring either a year’s supply or assume all costs of purchasing the medicine in the country of service. The NPH International Volunteer Program reserves the right to deny an applicant based on health conditions that put the applicant at risk. We encourage volunteers to engage in healthy lifestyle habits during their year of service to help ensure good health.

We ask that volunteers join us in ensuring that the NPH community continues to prosper despite the pandemic. This means following bio-security rules and protocols that were not necessary prior to the pandemic. Simple rules such as requiring that all adults wear face coverings while working have allowed us to keep the NPH family safe and healthy during the pandemic. NPH requires all volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to beginning service with NPH. Please read the following guidelines which explain how NPH is safely hosting volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NPH Volunteering During COVID-19 Guidelines