Name: Jessica Nguyen
Program: University of Southern California
Graduation Date: 2019
What is/are your favorite service events and why?
One of my favorite events during the year is the Special Olympics Fall Games in Fountain Valley where PTs, PTAs, and student physical therapists get the opportunity to do fitness screenings for the athletes. I love the opportunity to interact with the Special Olympics athletes who come from all walks of life and are of all different ages! It is really inspiring to see everything the athletes are able to achieve and it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to provide a service to them to improve the way they move and participate in the Special Olympics.
Has service helped you grow as a person or clinician? If so, how?
Service events have provided me so many great opportunities to meet different people and patients. These interactions have helped me improve my patient interaction skills and communication. But above anything, I’ve been able to develop my compassion and understanding of people that I think will help my patient care go above and beyond what we’ve learned in class.
Why is service important to you?
It is really easy to get bogged down by studying and stressing about rotations during physical therapy school. Every second of every day could be spent studying insertions and origins and differential diagnosis. The great thing about community service is that it reminds me about what awaits us beyond the textbooks and exams and keeps me grounded during my time in physical therapy school.