J-Term Internship Reflection: Christian Anderson

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My time at Lafayette Region Rehabilitation Hospital was a fantastic experience that I am very thankful for. I was able to work with great people and  facility. One of my favorite parts of this experience was being able to get to know the patients that I worked with. One in particular was a very sweet elderly lady, who my host and I worked with every day all week. At the end of the week, we actually helped her bake cookies for her husband as a part of her occupational therapy. The look on her husband’s face when he found out she had made him cookies was priceless. Watching Latisha improve all week and be a part of helping her be in better physical health than she had been in a long time was amazing and something I will not forget. Seeing the real life effects the therapy had on her was something that warmed my heart and helped reaffirm my desire to become a therapist.

I also had the unique opportunity to see one of the biones machines, which is a machine that can be put on a patient’s leg and sends electric currents to the muscles and nerves that actually makes your leg walk on its own. This is used to help retrain those nerves and muscles to work properly after a stroke, even if the patient is unable to perform this task on their own at first. The best part was that I was actually able to be hooked up to it and see it work on my own leg. I really enjoyed being able to help my host perform some of the therapy, although I was not allowed to touch the patients, because of liability risks. I was able to help with different exercises, such as playing catch or throwing a beach ball to them as they would hold a weighted bar in both hands and hit the ball back to me. This worked their balance and hand-eye coordination. The fact that I enjoyed such a simple and easy part of the therapy just reassures me that I will enjoy performing actual therapy on a day-to-day basis. I also enjoyed being able to interact with my host’s co-workers, hearing some of their stories or just talking about the snow days that their children had. I saw a great chance for shining my light as a Christian in this type of environment. They all had an open and talkative relationship with one another and shared the same passion for helping people get back to their original or even better physical health.

This experience impacted me greatly all of which were positive. I am even more certain that I want to pursue physical therapy as my future career as a result of my internship. It has motivated me to finish strong at Faith and jump straight into college in the fall. The only thing that has changed in my desire for a career in therapy is whether or not I want to become a Physical therapist or a physical therapy assistant. Originally, it was just a physical therapy assistant, but I am considering the route of a Physical therapist now. Overall, this was an amazing experience that I am extremely thankful for it has been nothing but beneficial.

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