Laura King Co-op Profile
Name: Laura King
Program: Therapeutic Recreation (TR)
Year of study: Third year
1. How and why did you decide to attend Memorial for your degree? Once I decided my area of study and discovered that Memorial offered the program, it seemed obvious that I would select Memorial to complete my education.
2. What drew you to your chosen degree? When I entered Memorial, I wasn’t aware of therapeutic recreation so initially I was planning on doing community recreation. Once in the HKR faculty, I discovered that therapeutic recreation was an option. I always wanted to work in health care and therapeutic recreation gives me the possibility to do that so it seemed to be an obvious career option for me.
3. What is the name of the organization you worked with? I was employed with the Janeway Lifestyle Program with Eastern Health.
4. What motivated you to choose that job? After having worked in many community recreational settings both for my first work term and other part-time jobs, I decided to pursue a work term position in a health care setting. I also have a passion for working with children and the Janeway Lifestyle Program gave me the opportunity to gain valuable TR experience while working with a population that I loved.
5. What were the responsibilities with that job? While working with the Janeway Lifestyle Program, I was able to experience many aspects of TR that would not have been available in other work term opportunities. During the work term, I helped provide individualized treatment for children with the risk factors for the development of chronic diseases. I assisted with assessments and follow-up clinics, tested children’s physical literacy skills, developed lesson plans for the physical literacy program, presented on the topic of physical literacy, acted as a facilitator in some group sessions and participated in webinars. I also helped with the launch of a new physical activity program for adolescents by developing home programs and lesson plans for each session. I loved the experience and was able to see the children grow and develop so much during the 10 weeks.
6. What career highlight would you like to share from your previous work place? One career highlight for me was witnessing the many benefits of the programs that were offered to children.
7. What did you learn in your program of study that helped during your work term? The use of assessment tools is an important topic in my program of study. It was great to have the background information and knowledge, which really helped when it was time to apply this knowledge first hand. I also had the experience of working as part of an interdisciplinary team, including a doctor, dietitian, psychologist, social worker, physiotherapist and recreation therapist. It was very eye opening to see how all these team members work together to benefit the lives of children.
8. What was a typical day for you at your work place? Depending on the day, the duties would be different. In the morning the TR specialist, physiotherapist and I would converse and see what the plan would be for the day. Often the mornings would consist of office work such as preparing for group sessions, assessments and follow-ups, attending the team meetings, participating in webinars, developing lesson plans for physical literacy and various other programs. In the afternoons, most of the interaction with clients occurred. The afternoons would consist of group sessions or assessments and follow-up clinics.
9. What was the best piece of advice you ever received through your co-op experience? The best piece of advice I received was always be willing to try new challenges. It is these new challenges that often have the biggest impact on our lives.
10. What advice would you give a student who is unsure of what to study? A piece of advice I would give a student unsure of what to study would be to do some research around what types of programs are out there but ultimately do something that you think you will love. I truly love what I am doing and I believe that is the most important aspect.
11. What are you most looking forward to within the next few years? Within the next few years I am looking forward to completing my final work term and internship and then graduating. After graduation, I plan on completing my certification exam and hope to be working in a health care setting soon after. I am excited to see what the future has in store for me.