Alex Nguyen started at Atlantic Memorial a little over 2 years ago with a vision to start a thriving student program. Only a year out of school himself, he knew the impact of what a phenomenal clinical experience could make. His experience during his internship with Jenny Farley, the DOR at Atlantic Memorial, influenced him to take a position with her despite multiple job offers in a variety of settings. His vision with his student programs was to weave it into part of the vision of the facility: building extraordinary relationships with the surrounding community. Alex set out to build these same extraordinary relationships with the academic community.
The first student contracts were signed in December of 2010. Since January 2011, Alex and the Atlantic team have accepted 11 students: 5 OT interns, 2 PT interns, and 4 SLP students. Over half of the staff has taken a lead clinical instructor role. One of the important clinical benefits of staff assuming a leadership role is raising the daily standard of patient care. Therapists who may have been practicing for awhile are infused with renewed passion for learning and teaching. One of the externs became an Ensign employee! Atlantic Memorial currently receives many inquiries from previous and future students to set up future internships, and there is even a waiting list now because of the excitement in the academic community.
Alex’s passion for teaching is infectious! You only need to spend a few minutes with him to catch the excitement and energy that he has. The community visibility has greatly increased with students attending ortho appointments, patient home visits, and interfacing at community events. In addition, Alex has been invited for guest lecture opportunities at Loma Linda University and USC. Alex and the staff at Atlantic Memorial are helping to define the “new face” of skilled nursing settings!
If you are interested in taking a student or are unsure where to start, please let your DOR and your therapy resource know. We have lots of week-by-week tools for you to use to guide you through the process, and we have signed contracts ready to go with many schools throughout the country. We can be an integral part in shaping our new generation of therapists, and we have heard first-hand from several academic coordinators that the buzz about our therapy programs is out there, and they are eager to send their students to our facilities for an outstanding clinical experience.