As school is starting, I often stop and reminisce about my short time in graduate school… GO CHIPS! It went by so fast and it was so intense. I believe I gained 20 pound in those two years. At the same time it was the time of my life! I met some of my best friends to this day and I run into classmates all the time at different professional events. So in the spirit of this time of remembrance and nostalgia, I wanted to share some simple and easy tips on getting the most out of grad school!
1) Get cozy with your class. I am not saying you have to be best friends with everyone, but you may be collaborating with them later in life. This truly happened to me! I was more competitive than social in graduate school. I was definitely surprised to be sharing and trading patients with several of my classmates that I really didn’t take the time to know better. My bad!
2) Volunteer for everything. I remember that patients would get added on to our clinic roster all the time and many didn’t want to volunteer for “more work.” I took on clinic five days a week at all hours in order to get the most experience I could and it paid off. I came out of graduate school feeling confident (not to be confused with competent) in a large variety of disorders, treatments, and diagnostic measures.
3) Check out TeachersPayTeachers site for FREE treatment material, made by real speech therapists. These materials were lovingly made by professionals to be functionally used with real clients. If you need guidance and referrals please check out my freebie recommendations.
4) If your school does not provide contact with patients who have a certain disorder that you are interested in, than start researching and do an observation somewhere. Acute care can be very particular on allowing students (not to be confused with interns/externs) to have contact with patients due to HIPPA and liability, but that doesn’t mean you can’t just observe. It is important to be able to see tracheostomies, vents, etc. before you are hired on to work with those patients.
5) Set yourself short-term goals to get through. I am a believer on setting and writing down goals. Graduate school is a jumble of goals: goals to get through classes, to learn different subjects, to build a resume, to find an internship, to prepare for your CCCs, etc. I highly recommend the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. It is geared towards business executives but gives helpful hints on how to divide and concur… ignore his bit about “delegating tasks” because as we all know- no one is getting a secretary as a graduate student J.
I hope you found these helpful. Please contact me for any follow-up questions. Stay tuned for more posts on organization and goal setting.
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