Want an internship that will set your resume apart? ACR has helped over a hundred employees develop internships to do just that! ACR interns can design an internship around a topic of interest. The resulting projects typically exceed everyone’s expectations. Even better, they frequently make a difference in the lives of the people with disabilities who live at ACR Homes.
ACR’s 2016 Internship Impact Award
One intern whose project made a huge impact was Alex Pierce, a pre-PA student at the University of Minnesota, who received ACR’s 2016 Internship Impact award. Alex focused his internship on the importance of fluid intake for one ACR resident who is on the autism spectrum. Alex began by researching the effect of dehydration on gastrointestinal health. He focused on fluid intake for people whose physical disabilities and medications can make constipation a chronic problem. With the help of ACR internship advisors, he developed a plan to implement his research. He then talked to his supervisor and co-workers about the importance of offering more fluids to residents at the home where he works and began collecting and analyzing data for one resident over the course of a few months. As a result of Alex’s efforts, the resident’s fluid intake increased and there has been a significant improvement in this resident’s gastrointestinal function. The concept was simple, but the benefit for the resident’s health and well-being was significant! After seeing this positive result, Alex worked with his RS and the RN to add fluid charting for two residents who are non-verbal. We anticipate that his efforts and advocacy in this area will increase awareness for staff at other ACR homes as well.
Design an Internship That Makes an Impact
Here is a sampling of other ways that ACR’s interns have made an impact over the past year:
- Pre-OT student Michelle Sullivan initiated the use of adaptive equipment including large print playing cards, adaptive art supplies, and adaptive utensils for residents of the home where she works.
- Pre-Nursing student Sasha Rybakina researched non-medical methods for treating insomnia in relation to a resident with a TBI. Sasha’s advocacy and education of her co-workers resulted in better sleep for the resident.
- Pre-med student Jordan Bruss created informational communication cards as a way to increase respectful communication between medical professionals and the residents with whom he works.
- Pre-OT student Caitlin Swertfeger researched art therapy and created additional opportunities for art therapy at the ACR Home where she works. She also worked with ACR’s interior decorator to implement a resident art display in J.Arthur’s Coffee.
- Psychology student Megan Muras worked on evaluating a resident’s behavior support plan in order to make it more consistent.
- Pre-med student Neal Kucera researched changes in behavior due to physical activity for adults with disabilities.
- Pre-OT student Caitlin Fortin created a name board for a resident with muscular dystrophy as a way to have increased engagement with his therapies/exercises.
- Pre-PA student Laura Richardson initiated the use of a dental mouth prop for a resident who had extremely limited oral access for oral hygiene.
- Pre-Healthcare Management intern Erin Swendsen conducted a survey of employees and analyzed results to gain more understanding of what makes ACR Homes a #1 Workplace.
- Pre-OT student Raina DeMarais researched Down syndrome and dementia, then implemented both music therapy and aromatherapy for a resident with these diagnoses.
- Public Health student Jesse Anderson evaluated ACR’s medication destruction procedures and made suggestions on alternative methods.
- Pre-nursing intern Kayla Brown evaluated the menu in an ACR home and made recommendations for more nutritionally balanced alternatives that would suit the residents’ differing dietary needs.
- Pre-OT student Kelcy Pollok researched the concept of core identity and created an identity scrapbook for a client with dementia at Arthur’s Residential Care.
- Pre-OT student Chelsea Silvers created multiple DIY occupational therapy resources for a resident with a stroke as well as a manual of OT activities to be done in the home.
- Pre-med student Ashley Bartlett researched a rare disorder for a resident she works with and provided additional training to the staff at the home in order to increase understanding of the resident’s needs.
For more information about internships, visit our website and come to ACR’s Opportunity Fair Open House on Friday, January 20th, from 1-4 at J.Arthur’s Coffee.
Learn more about what an ACR internship is like on our YouTube page: