Never ending progression, it sounds daunting, useless, and impractical. But for kids with major disabilities, this perfectly describes their life’s circumstances. I’m Whitney Boyce. In the spring of 2016 I completed a CTE Internship at Logan Regional Hospital in the field of pediatric rehabilitation.
The progression that these children accomplish in just a week or two has amazed me. I feel fortunate to have been able to experience this career field and grow to understand the patients I have observed. I have been able to follow some children, these past couple of months, and track their amazing progress. They set small goals, but it is miraculous when they achieve it. Whether it is standing for five seconds by themselves, or being able to walk at a normal pace for fifteen minutes, it is all amazing.
Because of this internship I have developed skills in patience, sympathy, and determination. These children have taught me so much about life and how to overcome challenges. While their circumstances are extreme, so is their determination. It is very evident that their progression is controlled entirely by them. Likewise, it is completely up to each of us what we accomplish. It is always so discouraging when a child comes in for their appointment and they simply have no desire to work that day. I have seen one boy go from only walking three steps to walking the distance of the room by himself in only two weeks. On the other hand, I have seen a boy sit on a bench with his lip out and his arms folded during the entire appointment. Physical strength and development is a lot of pressure to put on small children, but pediatric physical therapy makes this feat more manageable for the child and parents.
As I pursue a career in pediatrics I will often look to this experience for guidance. This career offers a lot of what I am looking for in my future career. As I continue in this internship I may find that it offers exactly what I want. BreeAnn Allred, the therapist, has taught me so much and has been extremely willing to answer every question. We often spend fifteen minutes after a patients [appointment] discussing them and their progression. I also appreciate every single child I have been able to observe and work with. They push me every day and have forced me to do a lot of things out of my comfort zone. I hope after this internship I will continue to push myself to reach out to others and grow from their experiences and my own.
Therapeutic Rehabilitation/Exercise is one of ten Career and Technical Education Pathways in the Health Science Education program area. Career and Technical Education (CTE) Internships are part of the Work-Based Learning (WBL) program. To participate in the Therapeutic Rehabilitation/Exercise Pathway talk to your school counselor. To participate in a CTE Internship talk to the WBL coordinator at your school.