Clinical Practicum Highlight- White River Medical Center

Caitlin McGough shares about her Summer 2021 externship experience:

“This summer, I was blessed to work at the White River Medical Center Inpatient Rehab facility! A typical day starts at 7:45, when either I or my supervisor sets the schedule for the day. We have 4-7 patients a day, for 45 minutes each. They will either be treats or evals. Treats are usually a mix of cognition, swallowing, motor speech, voice, and language, with cognition and swallowing making up the majority of my minutes. Evals consist of a brief swallowing screen and a cognition screen, usually the MMSE or SLUMS. Patients were seen in either their room or the speech therapy office. Occasionally, we would even bring a patient down to the garden for therapy! I will admit, paperwork in this particular rehab setting was atrocious, but my supervisor was excellent about showing me the ropes. My classes on dysphagia, neurology, and language disorders gave me a solid foundation for my offsite, and though it could be a lot to handle at times, I always felt like I was providing good services for my patients.

One thing I loved about my placement is that patients are seen every day for a week or two. This means that I get to establish a good rapport and watch their progress over time. I also enjoyed the challenge of finding appropriate materials for my patients. We hear all the time about how every patient is different, but it becomes more tangible when you see such a wide variety of diagnoses. Tailoring each session to patient needs is a fun exercise in clinical thinking and helped improve my spontaneity! Overall, I had a stellar experience at White River Medical Center. I’m sad to be leaving, but I’m so thankful that I can take what I have learned to more patients in the future!”

Thank you for sharing, Caitlin!

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