Practicum Final Reflection

This past semester has been one of great reflection and learning. I was very lucky to have been able to work at the Gossett Team Football House as an intern under Ms. Kala Flagg, PT ATC CSCS. I worked in the Sports Medicine Department assisting Kala with the therapy of the Maryland athletes recovering from injuries and tending to other medical therapeutic concerns. When I first started working there, I found the site to be wonderful. It was very organized and surprisingly very family oriented in that all the physical therapists, athletic trainers, directors, and staff treated one another like a family. I was also received into this family unit in the same way. On a day to day basis, I would do whatever Kala needed of me included but not limited to, getting hot compresses to relax the area before therapy begins, retrieving and setting up different equipment for therapy, cleaning up the room after therapy, making ice packs to take the swelling down after therapy was completed, monitoring and timing athletes exercises in the SwimEx pool, massage therapy using the electrotherapy Hivamat 200 machine, setting up the inferential current (IFC) machine on athletes, using the IFC to ultrasound after therapy and taking notes to update the athletes files each day of therapy. Kala was such a great site supervisor and she even explained why certain exercises and therapeutic techniques were used and helped me become familiar with terminology. From working at Gossett, I did learn a lot about medical science and anatomy. I learned that the classes I am taking now for my second major, Kinesiological Sciences, are very important if I ever decide to go PT school (physical therapy school). I also learned that being more aware of the world around you, in this case of my internship, more aware of the patients simple state of being when they first visit can tell you a lot about how to help them. I apply this same school of thought to natural science as a whole because awareness of the simple aspects of the scientific world has and can reveal things you never knew before.

I would definitely say that my work at this site has affected me beyond science because it has really helped me to slowly but surely figure out my future path and goals. I did acquire an appreciation for the connection between science and society in an unconventional way. First of all, and I have mentioned this in previous papers but I didnt really want to be in Earth, Life, and Time scholars program however, I am so very glad that I did because it has taught me things I would not have gathered otherwise. ELT has combined basic ideas of just observing the world around us and taken it to an understanding of history, the scientific method, mistakes in thinking and my personal focus, medical or biological science. I also have learned to appreciate the fact that I will never fully understand science because it is constantly changing, growing, and evolving to encompass more. That is one of the things that I love about learning science is that you are constantly in a race to acquire all the knowledge you can before some new discovery is made or world changing information is published. It is something that you will never be finished with. From everything I learned in ELT and in my classes, I decided to add a major of Kinesiology at the start of this semester in order to broaden my horizons. By doing so, that enabled me to be able to get my internship this semester and now I am seriously considering going to physical therapy school following graduation from Maryland. I learned a lot about myself through this experience. I learned that I work well on my feet and think quickly. I also learned that I have always wanted to help people through studying science and medicine. I only want to do research clinically and when it has a direct effect on my community or the world at large. I just like helping people. Through these experiences I have also come to terms with the fact that I probably wont go to medical school as I originally wanted to. I feel that my skills and my love for medicine can be utilized best as an exercise physiologist or with a PhD. in a related field. I still want my doctorate but, not as with a medical degree.

Overall, my experiences over the past 4 semesters have been unrivaled with any other. I wouldnt trade the memories or anything. I am extremely glad that I joined the Earth, Life, and Time Scholars Program and I hope that others were able to get as much out of it as I did.

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