Jessica Carrignan

During the Spring 2015 semester, Jessica interned at the Baltimore Veterans Administration Hospital within the Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy unit. 

What was a typical day/work week like at your internship?

My typical day at work consisted of me doing a routine check of the hydrocollators and freezers within the clinic to make sure that they were within the proper temperatures for patients to use. Occasionally if we had received any shipments I would unload all the supplies and put together any walkers or other assistive devices that had come in. Outside of those tasks, my day typically consisted of helping the physical therapists (PTs) with whatever they needed, such as putting together hot packs for patients or following behind with a wheelchair for safety purposes.

Why did you select this internship?

I selected this internship because I am extremely interested in pursuing a career with as a physical therapist with the military. Interning at the VA gave me the opportunity to get valuable observation hours for PT school, as well as the chance to help give back to our veterans.

What’s a project you completed or worked on that you’re particularly proud of?

One project I'm proud of was putting together the walkers and Rollators for the patients to be able to take home and use. 

What did your internship taught you that goes beyond what you’ve learned in the classroom?

My internship has taught me the importance of providing the best quality of care you can to ensure that everyone walks away having a positive experience. It is one thing to learn about quality health care standards within a classroom, and another to be able to see them utilized in real-life situations.

How has your internship helped shape your future goals and career plans?

This internship has reinforced my interest in working with the military and my desire to help give back to those who have served our country, both current and past. 

How did your internship challenge you, and how were you able to meet those challenges?

My internship challenged me to get comfortable within a new environment and to continuously find ways to best utilize my time and help the other PTs working there.

What are some of the most important professional skills or connections you gained from your internship?

First and foremost, the most valuable thing I'll take away from the VA is the understanding of the different working environments in a hospital, as well as the difference between in-patient and out-patient care. I have also gained some great personal connections and resources from the physical therapists I have worked with this semester to utilize in my future career.

Published May 21, 2015.