Monday, January 15, 2018

recap: my first week of externship!

Two years ago this month, I started volunteering at Tampa General Hospital, a major teaching hospital in my area. By "volunteering," I really mean observing, because aside from sanitizing a few toys here and there, I mostly just sat in the corner and intently watched therapy sessions. I was beginning my second semester of SLP pre-requisites with only a few hours of observation at an elementary school under my belt, so I was still super green in the field and an SLP's scope of practice. In fact, before volunteering at TGH,  I don't think I even realized all that a speech-language pathologist does, especially for adults. Long story short, the adult/geriatric side of SLP is crazy interesting (for me, anyway). From working with neurodegenerative diseases to traumatic brain injuries, head and neck cancer to stroke patients, no day or session is ever the same...and it was while I volunteered that I fell in love.

So - it was an easy decision for me to apply at TGH for one of my externship experiences...and in a nutshell (because not a nutshell would be another post for another day)...I got it! Last Tuesday was my first day working in the hospital and in just four days I've already seen and learned so much. My supervisor even performed a videostroboscopy on me, as some of you may have seen on my Instagram story...what an experience that was (super uncomfortable, but a neat experience). Speaking of uncomfortable experiences, it turns out that all the SLP student interns get to scrub in and observe either a craniotomy or laryngectomy...GUYS, it's like all my Grey's Anatomy dreams coming to life.

Moving right along: my supervisor sees both adult and pediatric patients, and while she primarily works in the outpatient rehab center in the hospital, we've been hopping back and forth between there and the pediatric inpatient floor and it's unlike anything I've seen in clinic before. It thrills me (...and scares the shit out of me) that this could be my actual job one day. EEEEP. I can't believe I'll actually be applying for real life, not-serving-jobs this year. This year. In eight months (or less, I guess?). What is life.

It still doesn't feel real that I get to be there Monday through Friday, full time. It's almost like I have a big-girl job again (except I'm working for hours, not money, so there's that). Needless to say, I am so excited to see what this semester brings...and even more excited to have one more after that and I am dunzo!

If you're in school, how was your first week back? If you're back to the work grind, how did the week treat you?


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