Career Connections

Danielle Chirhart

Major: Kinesiology and Health

Company/Organization: PhysioTherapy Associates
Company/Organization website:
Title: Hand Occupational Therapy
Destination: Des Moines-Downtown
Timeframe: Spring 2017

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
My responsibilities included designing and organizing at-home therapy programs, doing the clinics laundry, performing ultrasounds on patients, getting ice or hot packs for patients, keeping the clinic and materials sanitized, and assisting therapists with therapy when needed. This internship was a very detailed job shadow for hand occupational therapy.

I accomplished...
One of my greatest accomplishments was developing personal relationships and rapport with therapists and patients. Developing these relationships helped enhance my overall internship experience. Therapists were open to my suggestions and valued my input. They were willing to go out of their way to make sure I knew the reasoning and methods behind the exercises which made my experience very beneficial.

I learned...
The greatest thing I learned from this experience is what I can expect in my future. Interning with PhysioTherapy allowed me to learn about what goes on behind the scene of therapy, documentation, insurance billing, how to approach a variety of patients, and how to deal with diversity within the health care industry. I believe this internship prepared me for my future as a grad student and later on as an occupational therapist.

Advice for others...
My advice to other students is to not be afraid to try something new. I had never had interest for hand therapy or knew much about it. This internship opened my eyes to this part of the field and gave me a lot of insight of what it would be like to pursue this route of occupational therapy. With being in this setting and being an undergrad student, legally one cannot work hands-on in some circumstances but the therapists tried their best to give tasks and responsibilities to get great field experience.

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