Elkhart General Hospital, Elkhart, IN
Nava works as a Speech Language Pathology Graduate Student Clinician at her practicum.
Why did you choose this placement?
I chose this practicum because I wanted more experience in the medical side of speech language pathology. I'm excited to be placed in a hospital this semester and learn all that I can. This placement will expose me to various disorders related to swallowing, motor speech, aphasia, cognition, and voice, and I am looking forward to applying the knowledge I've gained from our coursework at Saint Mary's and make a difference in each patient's life.
Describe a challenge you have faced thus far in your practicum.
A challenge that I have faced in my practicum is getting accustomed to documentation procedures. When I first started this externship, I felt confused about the format of daily notes because it was so different than what I've done at previous placements. What I have learned during my time of being a graduate student is that documentation not only differs from each setting, but also each facility. A way to help learn the strings ahead of time at a new placement is to ask your supervisor to show you examples of SOAP notes, evaluation reports, and other forms of documentation that you'll eventually be writing. Being exposed to these examples will help tremendously when you take on the role of documenting therapy sessions. Now, I have much more confidence when it comes to documentation!
How has Saint Mary's College prepared you for this practicum?
Saint Mary's has prepared me for this practicum in numerous ways. I've gained self-confidence in my clinical ability and gained knowledge from the experiences and coursework I've had from SMC. We were prepared well in advance on what to expect and what our responsibilities would be for this final externship. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, my placement was cut short. Luckily, I was able to reach the required clinical hour amount needed prior to having to work from home. I am making the most of this time by studying for our comprehensive examination and applying to clinical fellowships.