Student quote from Professional Advancement and Community Engagement (PACE) Project
- Anonymous 3rd Year Student - “My volunteer/service activity was a very significant part of my growth as a person over the last two years. Therefore, I feel that it is an important component in our curriculum and should be something that students take advantage of.”
Student quotes from international clinical experiences:
- Nayo Hill, Class of 2017 - “Working at Hillside Health Care International (in Belize) provided a unique opportunity to hone clinical skills and develop cultural competence in a resource limited setting. Without all of the bells and whistles in my typical PT toolbox, I was challenged to think outside of the box and maximize the use of whatever materials were around me to provide the best PT care I could. Home health visits and traveling to mobile clinics in remote villages afforded additional opportunities to get to know the community and understand physical context in which many of our patients live. I would highly recommend an international clinical placement for anyone interested in being challenged to provide PT care in a different context. It was a wonderful and worthwhile learning and serving experience.”
- Benjamin Beutler, Class of 2016 - "Studying in Chile was one of the best experiences I had at NUPT. It was an opportunity to discover the great country of Chile as well as to learn from the best kinesiólogos (physical therapists) there. I came back to the US with a greater understanding and confidence in evaluating and treating critically ill and ventilated patients. Moreover, we made a strong connection between continents and among physical therapists in our goal to improve global health. It is an experience I will cherish throughout my career."
- Kyle Denlinger, Class of 2016 – “My rotation in Chile was my first time ever leaving the US. It pushed me out of my comfort zone, made me grow as a clinician, and the immersion enhanced the development of my Spanish to the point where I use it almost daily at my current job. The students and faculty at USS are the warmest, most welcoming people I have met in my entire life. They were so excited to share their culture with us and welcome us as family. It was literally life changing for me and I would do it again in an instant.”
- Amanda Carlson, Class of 2017 - "The challenging yet supportive environment at Hillside Health Care International in Belize helped me become more culturally competent, flexible, and efficient when working with patients whether I'm at home in the US or abroad."
- Erin Cameron, Class of 2017 - "My two weeks in Belize were some of the most rewarding and challenging of my three years at Northwestern. I think that one of the greatest take away messages from my time there is that not everyone practices medicine in the same way that we do back home. There are different cultural norms, beliefs and access to resources that directly impact the way that health care is provided. This is not to say that one way is good, and another bad, but it demonstrates ever so clearly the importance of trying to understand a place's culture and health system before believing that you can make a meaningful impact on the lives of people there. I am so thankful for the extensive preparation that Northwestern provided us on the complexities of global health care. Through our pre-trip preparation, interactions with patients and conversations with the dedicated staff members at Hillside, I came to realize that the notion that we are going to go to Belize to help them, or change their ways is flawed and naive. A lasting impact comes from not only providing treatment in a culturally competent manner, but through the consistent, mutual sharing of knowledge between volunteers and local people. As physical therapy students, we possess the knowledge and skills to allow us to make a positive impact on the quality of life of many patients, but I will be the first to say that I got out of this experience so much more than I could have ever provided to the people of Belize. Their challenging cases pushed me in ways that I had never been pushed before, while their stories, kindness and gratitude have forever changed the way that I interact with patients. I was nervous to embark on this journey, but if you have the opportunity take it! It is a learning experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life."