Name: Rachel McKenna< /strong>
Hometown: Farmington Hills, MI
Major: Communicative Sciences & Disorders
Graduation Date: May 2016
Company: Henry Ford Village
Location: Dearborn, MI
Amount of time at internship: January-May 2016
How did you become interested in becoming a speech-language pathologist? I entered college unsure of what career path I wanted to pursue. I ended up choosing elementary education, but during my sophomore year I found out about speech-language pathology and thought it would be a better fit. I had the opportunity to shadow speech pathologists in school and outpatient settings. The CSD major was no longer available at MSU, but I was able to take pre-requisite courses while completing the rest of my coursework.
Tell us about your graduation school journey: I have really enjoyed the CSD master's program at MSU. Gaining clinical experiences in four different real-world settings has allowed me to expand my knowledge with various populations. My first internship was at Holbrook Early Childhood Center where I gained experience in a school setting working with children with autism, articulation and language disorders, and more. I then interned at Henry Ford Health System providing pediatric outpatient services to children with language delays, autism, and other disorders. Last fall, I interned at Special Tree Rehabilitation System where I gained experience treating adults and children with traumatic brain injuries. This semester I am interning at Henry Ford Village where I work with the geriatric population.
Describe the clinical setting and population you are working with at your current internship: My current internship is in a sub-acute rehabilitation setting at Henry Ford Village. I work with older adults who have disorders such as dysphagia, dysarthria, aphasia, and cognitive-linguistic deficits. The patients come to Henry Ford Village following hospitalizations and work in therapies to regain functional skills.
How has your internship helped prepare you for your career? This internship has helped prepare me for my future career by giving me experience with a population and disorders that I had not previously had a lot of experience with. Many of our patients have dysphagia, and it has been a wonderful learning opportunity to assess and treat patients with various types and severity levels of dysphagia. This internship has also helped familiarize me with a more medical side of speech pathology and I am learning about medical terminology and documentation in the medical setting.