Monday, November 12, 2012

Exploring Careers Through The Internship Stipend Program

Amanda Percaccio, a Psychology major in the Verrazano Class of 2013, is participating in an internship at Staten Island University Hospital as part of the Internship Stipend Program.  Read below for Amanda's experience in her own words.
Amanda Percaccio

Not only is college a time for learning, but it is also a time for exploration.  Students participate in college events, play a sport, or even complete an internship. Luckily, I have been given a chance to do all three; however, the most important thing to me during my college experience was to complete an internship.  I was lucky enough to get an internship at the Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) and observe pediatric physical therapists at work. My internship experience is especially beneficial because it is my ultimate goal to become a Pediatric Physical Therapist.

I was given this opportunity thanks to the Career and Scholarship Center and an internship program called the Internship Stipend Program.  I received an email from the Career and Scholarship Center asking if I was interested, so I immediately replied yes and filled out an application.  Anyone can apply at any time, and upon completion of the 80 hours internship you must write a 250-500 word essay and then you will receive a $1000 stipend.

During my freshman and sophomore years of college I volunteered at SIUH in the pediatric physical therapy unit.  However, my experiences as a volunteer and as an intern were not identical.  As a volunteer, I mostly dealt with the paperwork and took on the daily duties of a receptionist. As a student intern, I was able to ask the therapists questions and they were happy to share the techniques used and the rationale behind their methods. I was fortunate to have interned under the supervision of a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) who is also a professor at the College of Staten Island in the Physical Therapy Department. He taught me a lot during my experience, and I look forward to learning more from him when I go to graduate school. By the end of the day, I felt I learned a great deal and I can use most of these treatment techniques on my own patients some day.

My duties as an intern were to set up the treatment plans for the therapist to use on the patients. These plans included lining up balance beams, setting the swings up, taking the toys out, setting the treadmill up, and much more. During the sessions, I observed the doctors closely. It was during this time that the therapist explained the plan of action to me. Due to HIPAA laws, they weren’t able to give me the diagnosis unless the parents of the patients provided consent. When the session ended, I cleaned the equipment that was utilized during the session and made sure everything was in its proper place.

I strongly recommend that more students consider completing an internship in their areas of interest. It is the best way to gain invaluable “hands-on” experience, and it is also a great way to network in your prospective field.  

To learn more about the Internship Stipend Program or other services available through the Career and Scholarship Center at the College of Staten Island, please visit 1A-105.

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