some reflection

18 Mar

I finished my school externship on Thursday and I begin my medical site tomorrow. I’m really excited to get started with some adult patients. My supervisor is the float SLP for the time being, so we’ll be doing a little outpatient, and a little inpatient. Most of my patients will be stroke, TBI – dysphagia, aphasia, executive functioning. I CAN’T WAIT FOR A CHANGE IN PACE.

So now that I’m finished with 12 weeks of the schools, I want to talk about my experiences as a whole. I saw 3-5 year olds, and third to eighth graders. My two sites couldn’t have been more different and my two sites were quite different from those of my graduate school peers. I had one classmate in an early childhood setting, but everyone else was in a regular LEA, phase 1 or 2 setting.

What I liked: I liked working with the kids. I had so much fun interacting with students. Students, are fun! They want to play and laugh and doing therapy is a game. And I enjoyed learning how to be an important part of meetings, how to interact with teachers, and how important interacting with related staff is. The best part was getting ideas – seeing how real therapists do things, what real therapists make a priority, what materials real therapists think are vital. When you’re in a clinic setting you have one million materials at the tip of your fingers but out in the world – you have personal purchases, what other clinicians have left behind, and you use a lot of creativity. I have a therapy materials box that I’ve been gathering over the years, so that if I end up in a school setting or a home health setting that require my own materials I don’t have to start from scratch (maybe sometime I will share what I’ve got in there).

What I disliked: Paperwork. Boring meetings. Bureaucracies that have demands on your time and teacher energy and student capabilities for state assessments, national assessments, school achievement standards. I didn’t enjoy the amount of downtime at one of the settings – but I think that just depends on the way someone makes their own schedule. I think my least favorite part was the non-verbal part of things. I think AAC is cool. I like it. I have compassion for the students that need it and I want students to have it and benefit. But, I ENJOY the speech part and the language part. The verbal side of things is definitely what I like to do. I could deal with a part of my caseload being non-verbal, but I need some verbal component of my caseload. I loved my kiddos, but it was hard at times, I won’t lie to you.

NP: Kanye West – All of the Lights

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2 Responses to “some reflection”

  1. zealousidler March 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Congratulations! Thanks for your reflections–they make me very excited to do a school externship next semester (um, what? already?!!?!).

    • weathersby March 20, 2012 at 12:38 am #

      I know, it SO sneaks up on you!

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