Apply your Occupation Therapy training in a vibrant children's rehabilitation center

Occupational Therapy Clinical Intern

Established in 1970, Katalemwa Cheshire Home for Rehabilitation Services (KCH) offers care to children with disabilities (CWDs) age 0-18 years, through inpatient and community-based care. Staff attend to the needs of CWDs with a variety of conditions, including spina bifida, hydrocephaly, clubfoot, cerebral palsy, wounds and burns, and comorbidities such as hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria.

Specifically, Katalemwa provides CWDs and their families:

  • Onsite, inpatient medical rehabilitation (physiotherapy, orthopedic therapy, occupational therapy, nursing care, wound care, pre/post op care, nutritional counseling, continence management)
  • Home based care
  • Neurological clinics
  • Psychosocial support
  • Assistive devices fabricated on the premises (prostheses, walking frames, crutches, calipers, seating and standing aids, orthopedic shoes and polio boots, wheelchairs, splints, and braces)
  • Economic empowerment and livelihood training
  • Education

In their patient contacts, UB students will at all times be in the presence of supervising professionals (OTs, PTs, nurses, and/or medical doctors). Care provided will be dictated by patient needs, and will be in keeping with training and ability of the student intern. Skills developed will depend on the particular tasks assigned to the student.

Students with a particular interest in the fabrication of disability appliances in the on-site workshops can request to spend all or part of their time there. This would be particularly interesting to students with a background or interest in mechanical engineering. 

Prerequisites

This opportunity is open only to UB OT students who are mature, service-driven, and have had at least some experience in low/middle income countries (LMICs). Further, UB OT students must have completed the 3-month fieldwork placement and the fourth year of the degree program prior to engaging in this opportunity.

Katalemwa asks that students come in groups of at least three to conserve their organizational resources.

Please note that OT Department and KCH have arranged for this clinical internship to be pursued by UB’s OT students in the summer between the 4 and the 5 year of the OT degree program.

Expectations

Unless otherwise instructed, students should show up to work each day (Monday to Friday) at 8:00 a.m. and leave no earlier than 5:00 p.m., taking no more than a one-hour break for lunch. Students should wear professional clothing that is clean and dignified and in keeping with Ugandan norms and values.

Students are encouraged to stay at the guest house on the premises of KCH, and to conduct themselves with professionalism even when they are not working.

To Apply

Draft a statement of interest in the opportunity, including the following:

  • Why are you interested in this opportunity?
  • What is your previous exposure to CWDs?
  • Have you ever spent time in a Low or Middle Income Country, and if so, what were the circumstances?
  • What in your life has prepared you to work with CWDs who are also combatting other problems, such as HIV/AIDS and poverty?
  • What tasks would be most interesting to you to perform?
  • Are there particular patient groups you would like to work with?
  • Over all, what would you like to learn from this opportunity?

Obtain a letter of recommendation from a faculty member who is familiar with your work ethic, maturity, and scholarship.

Send the statement of interest, letter of recommendation, and your unofficial transcripts to Dr. Lisa Vahapoğlu at lisalenk@buffalo.edu.  

Once she has received three complete applications from 3 OT students, Dr. Vahapoğlu will submit them to KCH.  Again, please note that Katalemwa asks that students come in groups of at least three to conserve their organizational resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far in advance does the application need to be submitted?

Applications should be submitted at least two months before the work would begin.

Duration of opportunity (minimum and maximum days or weeks):

Minimum: 8 weeks; maximum: 3 months

Above it says that KCH wants students to come in groups of 3. What if I am the only student who is interested in this opportunity? Do I not get to go?

Unfortunately, no: we cannot send 1 or 2 students. Our partner KCH asked that students come in groups of at least 3, and we will honor this request. 

Can I go over the winter semester break?

This is a summer-only opportunity for the summer between the 4 and 5 years of the OT degree.

How much will it cost?

Lodging onsite at the KCH guest house is $200/month.

Meal costs range depending on the type of restaurant you visit or if you cook for yourself. You could spend from $3/meal to $20/meal or approximately $63/week to $420/week

Airfare: check the web for latest fares. Depending on how far in advance you book and other variables, the fare can be as little as $1200 and well over $2000.

Learn about International Fieldwork Awards from CGHE