Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Learning By Doing: Exercise Science Clinical Practicums

Students majoring in exercise science at Elmhurst College must complete a 200-hour clinical practicum (internship) which helps them take the information learned in class/lab and translate it to a professional work setting of their choice. Ryan Bock, Morgan Geimer, and Amy Baschen each finished their practicums during the spring of 2013 and have shared some details about their experiences below. 

Ryan Bock completed half of his practicum at G4G Gym (Going for Greatness) and the other half at York Chiropractic Clinic. The experience at G4G Gym taught him a lot about fitness and training for various populations including athletes, children, and adults. He was exposed to different exercise and fitness philosophies and concepts and saw how to integrate those into classes and individual sessions with clients. Ryan even learned about the business side of fitness including marketing, price pointing, and other aspects of owning a private gym. He was able to become a full-time personal trainer at the gym through this opportunity.  While at York Chiropractic Clinic, he observed a chiropractor with patients, was taught about chiropractic techniques, learned about the patient-client relationship in this setting, and gained an understanding about business practices in this environment. (Photo: Ryan is demonstrating a wall climbing exercise at G4G Gym.)

Morgan Geimer’s practicum was at Olympia Chiropractic and Physical Therapy. She worked side-by-side with a physical therapist seeing the nuances of working with patients presenting different PT needs. Her experience provided a lot of insight into orthopedic injuries and how to use massage and release therapy. She was even trained on soft tissue mobilization and ultrasound techniques related to PT. Morgan also benefited from observing how the therapists managed multiple patients at one time while still being able to develop personal relationships with them. (Photo: Morgan is testing out the Alter G, an anti-gravity treadmill used in rehab therapy.)

Amy Baschen split her practicum hours over two sites. At La Grange Hospital, she worked in cardiac and pulmonary rehab with patients by taking their blood pressure, heart rate and O2 stats, conducted orientations, and assisted them with completing paperwork. She was also able to observe stress tests, weight classes, and the catheterization lab where patients have cardiac and vascular diagnostic imaging done. At Courts Plus, Amy participated in personal training sessions and taught group exercise classes as well as worked Fit 4 Life. Both sites taught her more about professionalism and patient/client interaction. Most importantly, she walked away feeling more confident about what career path to pursue. (Photo: Amy is posing with her site supervisor from Courts Plus.)

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