Providing care to others — even in scary times — is essential
by Jordan Hinz, graduate student, Communication Sciences and Disorders
As a first-year graduate student, COVID-19 has had a great impact on my education and life. When the first college-related cancellations began, I became very concerned about what that would mean for my current speech and language therapy clients at Minnesota State University, Mankato as well as the courses I was enrolled in.
We now meet with most of our clients virtually through Zoom or telepractice. I was initially worried about how this might change our quality of care, but the quality of our therapy remains the same, although the formatting and modality has changed. I am so grateful we can continue working with our amazing clients.
Our professors are also providing us with the opportunity to earn clinical hours through an online platform that allows students to practice with clients.
Classes are now held virtually. Our professors have made every effort to make these meetings feel like we are in our classrooms on campus. However, it has been difficult from a social aspect not having the opportunity to see and interact with my classmates and professors who I have been on this journey with.
Thankfully, our professors have been extremely understanding and accommodating throughout this process. Personally, being at home every day has been a struggle at times. Some days are harder than others, but I think this situation has made me realize just how important my education, clients and peers are to me. I will never take for granted sitting through a three-hour lecture again!
Planning for the future
As I move forward in my career, I think this crazy situation will benefit me in a few ways. For example, I am learning new ways to provide therapy to clients. It might be possible that teletherapy as we are experiencing now becomes more prevalent in the future, so I am glad I have gained that experience.
I am hoping to work in an elementary school under the supervision of a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). We are required to obtain a set number of clinical hours in order to graduate with a master’s degree, so I hope things improve soon. Overall, I think this situation is a very scary learning experience. What is evident is that providing care to others is essential, and I look forward to my future as an SLP to be able to help those in need.
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