Julia Hartis shares about her Summer 2021 externship experience:
“During my offsite placement at NeuroRestoritive Timber Ridge Ranch, I had the opportunity to work with adults that have a traumatic or acquired brain injury. There are 2 phases in the adult program. Phase 1 works with patients that are considered more severe and require 24/7 care. Phase 2 is more independent but still requires assistance with some activities throughout their day. I was able to lead sessions for both phases but was primarily with phase 1 patients.
A typical day at Timber Ridge begins with Notebook. This session is designed to orient the patients to person, place, time, and location. The patients also receive their daily schedule and journal during this hour, which allows them to know where they are going and write down what they have done if they forget later. My favorite part of this session was discussing SMART goals. The clients wrote down goals for PT, OT, and speech. It was exciting to talk about these goals and the improvements they had made compared to previous weeks. The remainder of the day was all depending on what day of the week it was. Some sessions focused on specific areas of cognition or ADLs, and others targeted particular goals for the individual clients. Most sessions were group therapy based. This was a huge learning experience to balance therapy goals for multiple clients while maintaining conversation and “brain breaks” that were much needed throughout the hour session.
The classes that prepared me the most for this experience were Neuro with Dr. Meeker and Dr. Killins and Dysphagia with Dr. Meeker. Learning about Neuro from a PT and speech therapist gave me the knowledge needed to interact with patients that required assistance at varying levels for ADLs. During these classes, the brain, swallowing, and adults scared me. There was NO way that I would work with anything adult. However, this experience and my supervisor encouraged me to fall in love with an area of the scope of practice I was previously terrified of.”
Thank you for sharing, Julia!