|From left to right: Ray Camba, Patrick Mecenas, Johnson Nan, Morgan Massey, Ti Phan, Rachel Marks, Casey Chung, Elizabeth Guerrero, and Jandar Ry|
By: Cynthia Howell
California State University Long Beach is currently home to the only Kinesiotherapy program on the West Coast. Kinesiotherapy students at CSULB benefit from exposure to different employment options. There is a strong working relationship with the nearby Long Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center, while the on-campus Center for Active Aging, offers a look into a career as a Kinesiotherapist within the private sector.
As a graduate of CSULB and employee at the Long Beach VA, I like to stay in touch with students. But I was particularly interested in learning more about the recently formed KT Club when I interviewed President Elizabeth Guerrero.
“Currently, there are about 25 club members. Only about 10 or so are able to attend the bi-weekly meetings regularly due to timing issues.” said Guerrero. “The goal of the club is to bring students together and spread awareness about what the Kinesiotherapy Department is including in their curriculum and graduation requirements, as well as potential careers and the benefits of majoring in Kinesiotherapy. We are currently working on flyers to post around campus to help get the name, Kinesiotherapy, out there. It is surprising how many CSULB students and professors are not familiar with the option.”
The club hosts study sessions and social events aimed at developing the bond between Kinesiotherapy students and promoting the program to others.
“My goal this semester as Club President is to build a strong group of KT students who feel just as passionate about Kinesiotherapy as I do.” The club is producing t-shirts, and reaching out to the local community. “One upcoming event is the National Rebuilding Day on April 28, 2012. This will give us an opportunity to go out into the community and help low income homeowners and communities.”
The KT Club recognizes the quality of their academic setting too. “I feel CSULB has a very strong academic program which is designed to help students excel.” Guerrero also recognized the required 64 hours of observation at the VA hospital as being an essential educational tool by allowing students to apply class material in a clinical setting and observe firsthand the treatment Registered Kinesiotherapists provide. She is looking forward to beginning her internship at the Long Beach VA in July 2012.
Many of the students enrolled in the KT program are also employed in clinics that provide additional training and educational opportunities; with one of the primary locations being the Center for Active Aging. Through this rounded experience of part-time employment, academic instruction, and the internship program, students feel that they are prepared to move straight in to job market after graduation. For them, ideal areas of work outside of the VA include senior wellness facilities and programs like “Nifty after Fifty,” rehabilitation programs in private hospitals, and in-home exercise and wellness services.