Career Connections

Ben Wagar

Major: Kinesiology and Health

Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Exercise Science

Year: Senior

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Mary Greeley Inpatient Acute Rehabilitation Center
Company/Organization website:
Title: Intern/Inpatient Rehab
Destination: Ames, IA
Timeframe: May 2016-July 2016

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
* Shadow Physical and Occupational therapists inpatient rehab. *Interact with patients and families during course of therapy. *Participate and observe individual concurrent and group therapy sessions under the supervision of a therapist. *Interact with interdisciplinary team and co-treatment therapy. *Assist in patient motivation, safety and satisfaction, through attitude and interactions with patients. *Help maintain a clean and sanitary environment.

I accomplished...
* Improved communication skills working with various populations. * Confidence working with patients with multiple health complications. * Increased knowledge of hospital acquired infections. * Medical treatments, i.e. medications, procedures, protocols. * Finding of equipment use, management and maintenance.

I learned...
Working with patients that were less cooperative. Learning each patient individually and finding what motivates them to get better so they can be more independent. Also how you can relate to each patient and get to know them on a personal level to increase participation during their therapy session.

I will never forget...
Working with stubborn patients that were unwilling to work with the therapists and finding commonality to motivate and improve strength and endurance during their therapy session.

Advice for others...
If you are thinking about physical or occupational therapy, I would recommend that you shadow as many settings as possible. Work on your communication skills within various populations, which will benefit you to find commonality, motivate and increase participation among your patients.

I landed this assignment by...
I contacted Mary Greeley's volunteer coordinator. Then I was put in contact with the inpatient acute rehab director. The physical therapist really enjoyed having an intern and would like more students in the future; I would highly recommend contacting the volunteer coordinator if you are interested. The therapist has over thirty years of experience.

I wanted this experience because...
I wanted to find a internship inpatient rehabilitation to improve my application for graduate school. I also was unsure if I would like working in this particular setting so I wanted first hand experience. I really enjoyed working in this setting.

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