Name: Hillary Wiener
Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI
Major: Speech-Language Pathology MA
Graduation Date: May 2016
Company: Heartland HCR ManorCare
Location: Battle Creek, Michigan
Amount of time at internship: September - December 2015
How did you become interested in becoming a speech-language pathologist? I became interesting in speech-language pathology while completing an internship in a special education classroom. My mentor at the time suggested I investigate speech-language pathology. During the completion of my undergraduate degree, I enrolled in an introductory SLP class. This class exposed me to the vast practices of speech-language pathologists and it was in this class that I decided to pursue a degree is this profession.
Tell us about your graduation school journey: I completed my undergraduate degree at Western Michigan University and was excited to be accepted into Michigan State University’s master program in the fall of 2014. The internship opportunities have helped me to develop important clinical skills, as well as expose me to many great experiences in a number of different settings. The internship experiences have also provided me opportunities to apply my coursework in clinical settings. Course at MSU promote group based learning, which has fostered collaborative and team based skills.
Describe the clinical setting and population you are working with at your current internship: Currently, I am an intern with Heartland HCR ManorCare in Battle Creek, MI. This faculty is a skilled nursing facility, providing rehabilitation to the adult population. Through this internship I have experienced a variety of disorders and severities, including swallowing disorders, acquired language disorders, cognitive-communication disorders, and motor speech disorders. In this setting I have developed valuable skills in co-treatment and collaboration with other professionals. I have also participated in functional therapy activities such as a cooking group to facilitate functional skills related to activities of daily living. The professionals at Heartland and my supervisor have provided me with valuable skills for working with patients and their families, which will help me provide the best care to patients in my future endeavors as a speech- language pathologist.
How has your internship helped prepare you for your career? Under the direction of my supervisor and the rehab team at Heartland, I have fostered many important clinical skills. Heartland helped to strengthen my clinical decision making skills and my ability to individualize assessments and treatments for individual patients. Through this internship I have learned the importance of developing patient rapport, as well as the importance of providing quality care to patients. This experience has help to increase my confidence and preparedness for my future career as a speech-language pathologist.