While working at Mary Greeley, I was expected to assist patients with warm-up exercises, including weights, stretches, and TheraBands. I also helped the nurses take blood pressures and check on patients during their exercise sessions. I looked over EKG tracings, checking for hearth rhythms and abnormalities. I was expected to clean the facility and gym after each class ended, ensuring all equipment and supplies was clean and ready for the next sessions.
My greatest accomplishment during my internship was creating personal relationships with various patients. I got to bond with numerous people throughout this experience, and learn so much about the patients as well as myself. I related to a lot of these patients' in different aspects of their lives, and was always eager to hear their stories (health-related or not).
Some of the greatest lessons I learned were you are not always going to get a long with everyone you meet/work with, but you still need to act professional. Some patients were definitely easier to work with compared to others, but you still need to treat them with respect because they are ultimately there to get better and improve their heart's function. It's a blessing when you get to work with easy-going individuals, but that's not always the case. These patients look up to you for help and guidance throughout their journey. They may walk in the door scared and afraid of what's to come, but many "graduate" the program in happy spirits.
What advice would you give?
My advice for future students in my major is to take advantage of every opportunity given to you. I had no idea freshmen year I wanted to do Cardiac Rehab, but after learning more about the job and getting firsthand experience with it, I'm glad I chose what I did. You might not know what you're looking for right away, but that's completely fine because sometimes it just takes time.