This past 2020-2021 school year, Illinois Bone & Joint Institute was honored to participate in the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Corporate Work-Study program. This program allows Cristo Rey students from the Waukegan, North Chicago, and other northern Lake County communities to be placed with local corporate partners who offer work experience and career exploration opportunities. Predominantly serving students with limited economic resources, this program can be a tool to empower students with skill building, networking, and other tangible work experience which may assist them on their pathway to college or other professional career.
In our inaugural year, our IBJI Gurnee Rehabilitation office hosted four students. These students represented freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes. The program is structured so that each student spends one full day a week at IBJI, while spending the rest of the school week fulfilling traditional classroom studies. The students placed with us had expressed interest in a career within healthcare and hoped to gain experience in a clinical setting.
Under the leadership of IBJI physical therapist Colleen Scott, DPT and Facility Manager Renee Heelan, PT, our students developed an understanding of the orthopedic rehabilitation process, various types of injury treatments, and the important role therapists play in guiding patients on the journey to recovery. In addition to observation, students also assisted therapists in therapeutic modality application, performed administrative and patient registration tasks, as well as maintained clinic organization and readiness for patients.
“Each of the students has taken this opportunity head on and it has been rewarding to see how each of them have grown over the past year, especially in their interactions with both staff and patients. They had the added obstacle of coming in during a year that we were navigating COVID-19, and each of our students has shown how adaptable they can be in changing situations. I think this opportunity has allowed the student to gain insight into what a profession in the healthcare field entails, and has aided in developing characteristics that will provide them with an advantage that a lot of high school students do not have access to prior to starting on a career path.” shared Colleen.
Meet Our Students
Alexis Bailey, Freshman Class of 2024
Alexis knew she always wanted to be in the medical field aspiring to be a surgeon prior to her experience at IBJI, but recently the idea of Physical Therapy is now fresh in her mind. She hopes to get more experience in the field and learn more terms that could help her in her future career. Her favorite memories of her student work experience include getting to talk to the patients and making connections with people around the clinic.
Fabiana Soto, Sophomore Class of 2023
Fabiana is always on the go and was excited to join the IBJI team to learn more about the healthcare field and different roles she may be interested in pursuing in the future. During her time assisting in therapy, she was excited to develop her communication skills including asking more questions and working with diverse groups of people.
Brayan Maguellal, Junior Class of 2022
An avid athlete, Brayan has always been fascinated by the anatomy and physiology and has big dreams of one day becoming a therapist herself. She was overjoyed when provided the opportunity to develop her knowledge in how and/or what exercises help certain parts of the body to strengthen and recuperate. This year, she learned how to connect with patients and understand the way they might feel. Brayan believes joining IBJI has been the greatest experience and it really helps in becoming a better person.
Leslie Solano, Senior Class of 2021
Leslie is very excited to take her work experience with her as she plans to begin her college studies this fall. With ambition to become a nurse, she took advantage of this opportunity to practice communicating with patients about their care journey. She was impressed with the many types of patients she had the chance to work with, patients of all ages and different types of diagnoses. Additionally, her involvement challenged her to step out of her comfort zone and develop her interpersonal skills.
We thank Cristo Rey St Martin College Prep for the opportunity to give back to our community and look forward to helping shape our next generation of healthcare professionals.