ACR interns have the capability to do incredible things during their time at ACR. While working direct care is impactful in itself, interns have the opportunity to tie their direct care experience together with self-guided, independent research. Interns have done such projects as creating exercise plans, modifying menus, working with doctors and nurses to change medications, and frequently learning more about a resident they’re working with by diving in to their personal history, treatments, medications, and diagnoses. We will be featuring some of our hard-working interns to share their topics, insights, and motivations.
First off, meet Sabeena! Sabeena Jagdeo is an ACR Employee gaining patient care experience at ACR Homes while also completing her Pre-Med Internship. Read on to see more about Sabeena’s internship experience and goals.
Attends: Junior at University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
Major: Psychology BS Major, Spanish minor
Career Path: Pre-med
I’ve worked at ACR since February 2019 and began my internship in April 2020. I initially heard about ACR at a job fair at the University of Minnesota, and was definitely influenced to apply due to the internship opportunity.
Making a Difference
In the beginning I was a little scared of how independent and free the internship structure can be. It’s really individualized. I didn’t have an idea at first, so I waited. When I did choose to get started, I definitely didn’t know what it was going to become. I approached my first meeting with my internship mentor with a couple of ideas. One of them was about a diagnosis a resident I work with has, Agenesis of the Corpus Collosum (ACC), but I wasn’t sure what I could do with it. I pitched this idea to my ACR Internship Advisor, Jon, and he helped me to formulate my goals and ideas.
After digging into my resident’s history, I saw that this diagnosis of Agenesis of the Corpus Collosum really tied in to other diagnoses and challenges this resident had—sleeping difficulty, difficulty with social understanding, etc. My internship focus has been to learn more about all of it, so I can make connections between the diagnosis and associated impairments so we can better provide care by being more knowledgeable. ACC is pretty rare- 1 in 4000 have it, so there is not a lot of information on the topic currently. I wanted to get a little more background for staff at the house so we know how to take care of them better both physically and emotionally. Finding out the WHY as far as why behaviors are happening. Putting it all together to have a better picture of who they are as a person. They’re non-verbal, so this would be a good way for new staff to get insight into their life.
Learning and Researching
I’ve interviewed this resident’s family to learn more about her. CEO Jim Nelson also has purchased two books for me to use—Agenesis of the Corpus Collosum: The Beast Within, and My Stroke of Insight. I’m also going to be talking more to my co-workers about what they notice about behaviors. Additionally, Jon mentioned the idea of reaching out to authors of some of the research I read, and I’ve had a lot of success with that. I’ve spoken to multiple professors and researchers, some who even jumped on a zoom call with me to answer my questions, and so that I could hear more about the research they had been doing on ACC. Others pointed me towards additional research and additional professional connections I could make. I’m hopeful that one of the connections I made will lead to working in a professor’s lab in the future to fulfill my psychology degree requirement.
Independent Research Opportunities
I love that I’m able to do research myself and that I’m the main person in control—I’m not just helping on it. Just to think that “I DID THIS”. As an undergraduate, I’m reaching out and making connections with professors and professional researchers. I’m showing my knowledge on this topic. When I first started, I definitely didn’t know or think I’d be doing this.
Med School Admissions
I think the internship will help with the leadership aspect of my med school application because of how I’ve been able to connect with other professors in the field, but also with my fellow staff and residents. I also think the it will be helpful to talk about the research aspect. In my meetings with Jim Nelson, he encouraged me to keep learning as a future doctor. In med school, I’ll always be learning new things, and there is always going to be something new to learn or do for more residents or for my future patients.
Advice for Future Interns
I’d say that the sky is the limit. Never think you’re not capable of doing this research. There will always be someone here to support you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to everyone you can. You can totally do anything for your resident and they’ll always benefit from whatever you choose to pursue.
ACR Homes Internship Advisor Jon Moe has worked closely with Sabeena throughout her internship and states:
“Sabeena consistently shows excellence in all aspects of her internship. She thinks critically about her next steps and takes time to thoroughly evaluate new information to ensure it is relevant, of high quality, and supports her topic. She takes initiative to reach out to experts in her topic and is always very professional in her conduct. Most importantly, she strives to use her research to positively impact her residents and is driven to succeed so that they receive the highest quality of life possible.”
Thanks for making a difference, Sabeena!