As some of you may know if you have read some of my earlier blogs, I am an Exercise Science major and hope to go to graduate school for physical therapy. Since I am on that path, I need quite a few observation hours before I can apply for school. Hope requires its students to have 150 observation hours in order to graduate and some of the people I have talked to that are in PT school right now say you should have around 300 hours in order to be competitive with other students. That’s a ton of hours, right? I really needed to get started on those as soon as possible.
Last May I had an internship through Hope and completed those 150 hours, which was a huge relief. However, I still needed more somehow. Therefore, I sought an internship at a place called SCAR (Sports Conditioning and Rehabilitation) back home in Tustin, CA. Although I was only around for a few weeks, I was able to get some hours there. It was especially nice because the sports clinic is a location I am most interested in working in, so shadowing there was really good. I managed to get to know most of the therapists and learned quite a bit from them. Although I am not licensed to work with the patients necessarily, I was able to administer laser therapy on them which is a technique like ultrasound that increases the amount of mitochondria in the affected region and speeds up the healing process by sending different currents of energy into the region. Regardless, I was able to do that as well as wipe down tables and help explain some simple exercises that they should be doing.
Something that I learned while there that I hadn’t been exposed to before was a method called Strain-Counterstrain. Basically, this is a technique where you elongate the muscles and have them relax by manipulating various pressure points of the body, which relieves pain. I’m not lying when I say this: more than a handful of people who had this treatment performed on them all called it a “miracle.” Being able to learn about that and be exposed to such a different type of therapy was really rewarding because it clearly was beneficial for everybody who had it done and is something would like to look further into.
In addition to just observing physical therapists, it’s also important to develop relationships with them so that you can possibly as for a letter of recommendation because you will need at least one from a licensed professional for graduate applications. Luckily, one of the therapists at SCAR said she would write me one, so I am super grateful for that because it’s a tough subject to bring up because there’s fear of rejection but sometimes you just have to ask because you will kick yourself in the butt later if you don’t try. At least that’s how I’m looking at it.
Overall, my experience at SCAR was very positive and I hope to return but it’s hard to tell with everything going on in regards to school and what summer brings. It was definitely great getting more experience, but it also made this Christmas break a lot more productive and useful. Best of luck this next week with classes and everything, but I’ll keep you all posted of stuff going on here on campus shortly!
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @hopeleslie15.