You may remember Rebekah Van Gessel from her appearance on Your Hometown Show last year. She and resident Trevor Johnson were interviewed about requirements, education and training for young people coming into the O&P field.
We feel that the enthusiasm, “built in” technological savvy, energy and vitality of this new generation is contagious and refreshing. So, we thought we would share an update on Rebekah’s progress, in her own words, so that visitors to our site can share in the passion she and others like her are bringing to today’s P&O:
“I just got back from Prosthetics school at Northwestern University Prosthetics Orthotics Center (NUPOC) in Chicago, which was five months online and three months on site learning in Chicago. I graduated from NUPOC in orthotics on March 30, 2012 and prosthetics on March 30, 2013. I will be starting an 18 month dual orthotic and prosthetic residency very soon at Snell’s through NCOPE (National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education).
I am from Alexandria, now living in Bossier and working at Snell’s Line Ave office.
NUPOC’s O&P program was a great advanced program to be accepted into, which offers the student the ability to work full time while taking online classes the first 5 months. The on site portion provided hands on experience in the fabrication lab and with clients with amputations.
The best part about living in Chicago is the bond that is created with your classmates during the short three months you are there. We became a family and still talk almost every day. The field of O&P is so small, we can’t help but become family, because no one else understands our experiences.
(Also, I will never forget the view out of my bedroom looking out on Lake Michigan, it is forever imprinted in my brain)!
Now, that I am graduated, I have been very busy in Prosthetics, Orthotics, & Cranial Remolding. Clyde (Massey) has been showing me the ropes out at Willis Knighton South Hospital during Dr. Ghali’s pediatric clinics every other week, twice a week.
I love getting to see the little babies and learn the process of corrective helmets.
I have also been traveling to the Monroe office with Russell (Bellamy) on Thursdays for more prosthetic experience.
As you can see I’ve jumped in, feet first, ready to learn and grow. I am so excited to get back into my routine here at Snells and I couldn’t be more thankful for all of their support and confidence in me.
Everyone here has become my family. I am so excited for the future. I am loving being busy at work, it makes me feel important. After the 18 month dual residency I get to sit for my ABC boards for certification.