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Late in my fall semester of senior year I made up my mind to officially apply to physician assistant school. I researched many programs and saw that most required large amounts of hands-on patient care experience in order to apply. ACR Homes immediately came to mind. I had seen many flyers around campus and had even stopped by the company’s booth once at a career fair. From what I heard, ACR Homes would be the place I could gain experience and a pre-PA internship. I realized that could really help me get into the programs I wanted to attend.

Fast forward a year and a half.  I am now three months into my physician assistant program at Midwestern University in Downer’s Grove, Illinois. It is so exciting to be in this program and have loved every second of it so far! I believe the main reason I was accepted into this graduate program is because of my invaluable time as a direct care professional and my pre-PA internship with ACR Homes.

Olivia's Pre-PA internship at ACR

Communication is Key!

In my classes I have found that verbal and written communication is vital in healthcare. Good communication enables medical professionals to provide the best care for each patient. ACR Homes understands this and teaches all staff to efficiently communicate with fellow employees, with guardians of residents, and with other healthcare professionals. I recall learning this from my first (paid!) training day with ACR. I was taught how to speak and write in professional and medical terminology to ensure the residents’ health and well-being.

ACR’s Internship Helped Me to Stand Out

While optional, internships at ACR are great for challenging employees to learn more as a direct care staff and prepare for graduate school or other venues of work. I pursued a pre-PA internship during my time with ACR.  In the process I received great direction in meetings with various ACR staff, and even with ACR CEO Jim Nelson.  I found that I was asked about my ACR internship in many of my PA interviews; they were all impressed that ACR Homes gives the opportunity to its employees to become better future healthcare providers.

Resident Agenda Taught Me Respect

The most important thing I learned as a direct care professional with ACR Homes is how to respect every person no matter what. I was fortunate to be an advocate for many residents during my time with ACR.  I realized that every resident deserves care and attention designed specifically for him or her. This concept of “resident agenda” is something I will carry with me for the rest of my career as a physician assistant.  It was a huge factor of why I got into graduate school. I know that all my experiences with ACR will ultimately become a large part of my identity as a future PA.

—Olivia Schultz, student in PA program and former ACR employee