Clinical Practicum Highlight- St. Vincent’s Neuroscience Institute

Mary Hannah Bryant shares about her summer 2020 externship experience:

“This summer, I completed a clinical rotation at St. Vincent’s Neuroscience Institute in Sherwood, Ar. This experience has allowed me to see many patients that range from young to older adults. The majority of the caseload at St. Vincent North is strokes, brain tumors, and brain injuries, and I treated patients for swallowing, communication, and cognitive disorders. Each day began by seeing the new orders for swallowing or cognitive evaluations and completing a chart review of new patients. Once all charts were reviewed, my supervisor and I began by completing swallowing evaluations first and then cognitive evaluations. The number of new evaluations is different every day, so no two days were the same. We documented between every 2-3 patients to ensure that we were never overwhelmed by documenting. Some days, my supervisor and I completed evaluations all day, but if we were able to complete all the evaluations before the day was over, we provided treatment to patients evaluated on previous days. Therapy in the hospital was very different than any therapy I had provided prior to this experience. Therapy always took place in the patient’s room, and I was forced to think outside the box because I was not able to take a ton of therapy items along with me. I was always on my toes thinking, “what can I use in this room during therapy?” Administering evaluations and providing therapy in the hospital setting has definitely stretched me as a clinician and allowed me to see another awesome and fun area of speech language pathology. At St. Vincent North, the speech language pathologist also provided inpatient and outpatient OPVs. This part of the hospital caseload was the most intimidating for me because the patient and radiologist are looking at the SLP to see what the next decision will be. OPVs forced me to use book knowledge and clinical judgement simultaneously. More times than I can count, I found myself thinking “I see ____ because of ___.” My knowledge from Neuroscience and Dysphagia were definitely put to good use during this clinical rotation. I am thankful for Dr. Meeker and her high expectations for her students because these two courses allowed me to feel prepared and confident in my own clinical knowledge. St. Vincent North has been an incredibly positive clinical experience for me, and it seemed like something happened every day where I stopped and thought, ‘that is why I chose to pursue a degree in speech-language pathology.'”

Thank you for sharing, Mary!

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