Hey everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic week.
I have been sharing a lot about my journey throughout my internship. This week, I want to tell you about why I chose music therapy.
I would say that I have a fairly musical background. Many of my family members have played piano or trumpet. Some have even had musical careers! From a young age, I was exposed to music through my family.
My earliest memory of music is playing the piano at my great-grandparents home. I remember not knowing how to play but I do remember that one side sounded like a big truck and the other sounded like little birds.
Thankfully, I had the opportunity to begin taking piano lessons when I was older. Later, I also joined choir and played trumpet in band. I continued building these skills throughout my middle and high school career.
During my senior year, I started to really think about what I wanted to do with my life. For a while, I considered being a music teacher. I loved the idea of using my love of music in my job and having the opportunity to share that joy. However, after talking to some of my teachers, I decided to start looking for other professions.
One day, I remember opening up my email and seeing a message from my grandmother telling me about a new profession. She had sent me an article about Music Therapy! After reading the article, I became more and more intrigued about this job. It combined both my love for music and desire to help others.
A few months after receiving this email, I went to a Therapy Party at St. Johns for my little brothers. There, a music therapist was providing services for the children there. This was my first glimpse into what this profession truly looked like. Coincidentally, that same music therapist is now one of my supervisors during my internship. What are the odds?!
After this encounter, I set up a meeting with one of the music therapy professors at WIU to discuss this profession further. After this meeting, I decided that this was what I wanted to do. Soon after, I applied and auditioned at WIU and was accepted into the program and now, I am halfway through my internship!
Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I can’t imagine it not being a part of my life as an adult. I am so thankful that I was able to find this profession and was brave enough to pursue it.
Thanks for reading! Stay safe and healthy this week!
Hey everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful week.
This week, I want to tell you about one of the locations I am working at. I have been spending about two days a week at the hospital. This is probably one of my favorite locations. I am learning and experiences so many different things each day.
Part of my job there is working with the clients, whether that is helping distract them during procedures, distract them from hospitalization, or working on various skills. So far, I have been able to observe a port access and de-access, a spinal tap, and an IV insertion. I have also been able to watch my supervisor work with a burn patient during their hand and arm stretches. These have been interesting to observe.
All of these things were expected when walking into the hospital. I knew I would see some minor procedures and work with patients with various diagnosis. However, there are many jobs that I did not expect to have to do. Each day in the hospital is different. I have learned that I have to prepare to be unprepared.
One of my favorite “odd jobs” is getting toys and crafts for the patients. Since Child Life has been downsized to two people, I get to help hand out items to the kiddos on the floor. It is super fun going through the closets and finding crafts or toys that the patients would like. For some patients, we will wrap the gifts up as well. Mainly around the holidays or for “going home” gifts.
Along with finding gifts from the closets, I have helped haul a few of the donations. Some of the donations have been larger which have been interesting to haul. For one of the larger donations, we used two carts and a spare wheelchair and still had to make three loads to the closets. Around Christmastime, it was a fun time finding space to put all of the Christmas donations.
During one hospital visit, we used a light-up toy to help a child during their port access. This toy ended up needing new batteries halfway through the day. What made this especially interesting was the adventure to find a screwdriver that would fit this particular toy. After searching and searching and searching, we finally found a tool that worked. When we finally got it opened, we had to find the batteries that fit. I definitely never expected to go on a screwdriver/battery hunt for a light-up toy when I was told I would be interning at the hospital.
Although I am the music therapy intern, there are many patients that we see that we don’t do music with. Sometimes what the patient needs most is just someone to talk to. For some patients, we will color or do the crafts we bring them. There was a patient that I played Uno with for 45 minutes because that’s what he requested. Although we can use music, it is not a requirement for our services.
For patients that we see more long-term, we get to see their journey and see them be able to go home. For oncology patients, we decorate their room on their last chemo treatment. So far, I have been able to decorate a “last chemo room” and help gather celebration treats and wrap a gift for the patient. This was an exciting day to be an intern.
The hospital is an ever-changing place to work. There is never a day where I know what to expect. While this was really challenging to adjust to, it has become easier to walk in with no expectations. In most situations, I like to have a plan and know what to expect. The hospital is only ever the unexpected, yet it is still one of my favorite locations I am interning.
Thanks for reading. Stay safe and healthy this week!
Hello everyone! I hope you are having a good week.
This past week has been a bit of a challenge. Many of the things I am doing have been taken to the next level. For example, in rep check, I have been attempting to facilitate an intervention. I chose to do a song discussion but I have been struggling with this particular intervention.
In undergrad, we learned how to do song discussions in our Clinical Skills. During that assignment, we mainly did the same thing just used different songs and different questions. In class, I felt confident about my ability to plan and implement a song discussion. During my senior year practicum, I facilitated a song discussion with my practicum group. I did the same model that I had learned in class and it worked but was not anything overly memorable.
When attempting to do song discussions in my supervision, I have really been challenged to make it more interesting than “listen to the song and talk about it”. This has proved to be quite the challenge for me. After my second attempt, my supervisor discussed with me some reasons that I may be struggling with this assignment.
During this conversation, she explained the difference between a student mindset and a professional one. As a student, I mainly took information that I learned and just repeated it. I got really good at taking information I was given and adding just enough changes to make it seem different, even though it was just the same thing.
As a professional, you have to be able to take the information you know and create something new. Being creative is such an important part of this profession. When given a goal/objective, you need to be able to create ways to work on said goal/objective but make sure that it will engaged the client.
Internship is a weird in-between stage where you aren’t yet a true professional but you are more than just a student. You have the responsibilities of a professional without the credentials. One thing that I am working on is changing my mentality from “student” to “professional”
One way that I am working on this is by reminding myself that I am seen as a professional. I have students and clients that see me as their therapist or teacher. I am providing professional care and services to them. In order to do this, I must see myself as a professional.
Another way I am working on this is reminding myself that I am a professional. Although I don’t quite feel like one, I will (hopefully) be a credentialed professional in the next few months. I am already halfway through my internship which means I am almost at the finish line.
While this mindset will not change overnight, it will change in time but only if I work to change it. By simply telling myself that I am a professional and I am seen as a professional, I will eventually begin to believe it.
Thanks for reading! Stay safe and healthy this week!
In my first blog post, I shared three goals I had made for myself during internship. I am almost to the halfway point of my internship already! Since its the time we all make new goals for ourselves, I thought I would share the progress I have made on my goals so far.
1. I will not let my anxieties and nerves get in the way of my growth.
I am proud of my progress on this particular goal. Although I still get anxious and nervous, I have not let it hinder my growth. One area this really affects me is rep checks. I get extremely anxious before each week but I have pushed through and seen growth each week, even the weeks that don’t go as planned. While this is still a struggle for me, I have pushed through it each time!
2. I will fully prepare for each day as best I can physically, mentally, and emotionally.
This goal has been challenging. I am still bad at drinking enough throughout the day and eating breakfast. However, I have been getting better sleep and eating more regularly than before. Each day, I try to pay attention to how I am feelings mentally and emotionally and make sure to take action to keep those areas as healthy as I can. Even though there are some challenging weeks, I feel like I am able to really give my all to my clients.
3. I will force myself to step outside of my comfort zone in all situations that arise.
I have made a lot of progress on this goal. I have written over ten songs so far! This was something that I was and still get nervous about. Recording these songs is even more challenging but I am proud of how well I have done with that. For some of my clients, I have begun doing a lot of improvisation throughout the sessions. While this is still an area of struggle for me, I have improved greatly from my first week.
For 2021, I am keeping these same three goals for myself. They push me to better myself in a variety of aspects. I am proud of the progress I have made so far and I can’t wait to see how much more I’ll make in the next few months!
I hope you all enjoyed the holidays. The holidays can be both an exciting and stressful time. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love being able to take time and spend it with those I care about most. This year’s celebrations certainly looked different than years past.
2020 has been a crazy year for everyone. There have been many changes that have made everyday life more stressful or overwhelming. Virtual get-togethers have become more and more common. Telehealth has slowly become a new norm.
For me, this year has had some big changes for me personally. I would have been able to walk in my college graduation but my last semester on campus was cut short. A few months later, I stated my internship in the midst of a pandemic. This has made my internship look very different from what I had expected. There are more gloves, masks, and Clorox wipes than I had planned on.
Internship has been an amazing experience so far and I have learned a lot. One of my favorite things about my internship is that I have one hour of self care blocked out in my schedule. Self care is such an important part of your health.
Some ways that I like to do self care is I like to just sit and watch TV while specifically NOT doing work. I tend to have something on in the back ground while doing other projects because I feel guilty that I could be spending time working so I try to combine them. However, I have been making a point to set aside time for me to just sit down and really enjoy watching TV (usually Star Trek).
Another way I like to treat myself is doing crafts. I like to make cards using watercolor or pens, paint canvases, and recently, hand embroidering. It is so satisfying to watch my creations come to be. I tend to combine these activities with my favorite TV show.
The last way I like to do self care is playing board games or card games. I usually play with my siblings as they also enjoy games. Sometimes it can be nice to just take a break from the world and have fun with those around you. Some of our favorites to play are Yahtzee, Phase Ten (the dice version), and Pandemic.
During my supervision this week, I was talking with my supervisors about how some days are more draining than others, especially at the hospital. I wasn’t sure how to help keep myself going throughout the day. They told me that self care can be small things throughout the day that can help give you a brief mental break.
This “short-term” self care can be as simple as taking a break to get a drink of water or a snake, sitting in your car after a meeting, or just sitting and mindlessly scrolling for a few minutes. Taking these short breaks throughout the day can help you keep going, even on the hardest days.
One of my goals for these next few weeks is to make sure that I do self care throughout the day and make sure I take care of myself. You can’t fill up someone else’s glass if yours is empty. I encourage you all to take time in your day to make sure your needs are being met.