Hannah Hall shares about her Summer 2021 externship experience:
“For my summer off-site placement, I was placed at The Children’s Center (TCC) Rehabilitation Hospital in Bethany, OK. My caseload often varied not only week by week but also day by day. Due to being placed in the long-term rehab unit in the hospital, my caseload varied based on current admissions. There were kids that I only saw for a couple of weeks because they got discharged, and there were kids I saw for the entire 6-week rotation (and their time at the hospital is nowhere near complete). It also varied day by day because we never knew what kind of condition any given child would be in when we arrived at the room. There were plenty of days that I wouldn’t be able to see one of my clients because we would walk to their room and then walk right back out because they were sleeping, sick, or just not in the mood for therapy that day (the last one only happened once).
Due to variations in caseloads, my days hardly ever looked the same. Several of the kids I was lucky enough to see for the entirety of my placement were BIR kids, or Brain Injury Rehabilitation kids. Learning to work with that type of patient was a HUGE learning curve for me. I had learned in classes that we may see patients like them but had no experience. However, although it took a while for me to get into the swing of things, I would say that watching the progress of those children was one of the most rewarding parts of my time at TCC. Many of them had significant brain injuries and it was just amazing to me to see how far they have come even in my short time with them. A large portion of my caseload were typically BIR patients, but I also saw a couple of feeding kids, others that we just worked on appropriate play and language development with, and a couple of AAC clients. So, as you can tell, not your typical speech and language clients. Pretty much all of these areas were not areas that I had any kind of experience in, but I do feel like classes I have had helped me to not go in blind. Even though I hadn’t had any practice working with these clients, I had knowledge that I could finally begin to apply (after a quick dust off, of course!).
Although it was challenging at times, I would not trade my time at TCC for anything. I learned so much and had two of the best supervisors that invested in me and showed unlimited patience as I learned the best ways to treat the sweet kiddos. Some days were harder than others, of course, but seeing the progress the children made while I was there was more than worth the hard times. I just hope that I was able to make at least a little impact on the lives of the children I saw while I was there. They definitely left an impact on me. I’ll never forget them. Maybe I’ll go back someday, who knows?”
Thank you for sharing, Hannah!