Student Therapists at Kids Place
by Jeanette Mangano, DPT, PCS
Kids Place West Pediatric Physical Therapist
At Kids Place, we are active within the educational communities for therapist’s education. We seek to assist speech language pathology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy students with advancing their education and completing clinical rotations in order to obtain their degree. As part of their curriculum, students need to complete clinical internships or rotations. They are placed in various settings in order to get hands-on experience under the direction of a supervising therapist.
This is usually a very exciting time for students. They finally put into action all the skills they’ve learned along with experiencing new learning opportunities. It is the job of their clinical instructor to guide their learning, facilitate growth, and promote the development of the therapy field overall. Most times, when student’s complete their rotation at Kids Place and are hands-on with patients, they are nearing the end of their in classroom curriculum and have passed all the in-classroom requirements to become a therapist. They may have a rotation or two left, or may be scheduling their board certification exam to be completed near the end or just following this rotation.
At Kids Place, we are happy to have students and feel it is important to get this hands-on, real world experience for multiple reasons. First of all, there is only so much a textbook and lecture can teach. This clinic rotation is this time where students can learn to hone their skills, find areas they need to improve, and discover areas of practice that they may like or really dislike. It is important to have students in order to maintain a high quality of performance to help kids everywhere receive high quality, skilled and compassionate therapy services.
As with any job, it can be difficult and intimidating at first but with the proper support, this is an important and effective learning experience. Student’s who are working in the clinic will always be introduced as a student and are always under the supervision of a licensed therapist. Clinical instructors spend time with their students reviewing concepts, working on treatment techniques, giving background on patients, and preparing them to be an independent therapist. Students are always thankful for having had the experience of working with the kids and families at Kids Place!