Meet our alumni: Hannah Jones '19

Meet our alumni: Hannah Jones '19

Class of 2019

Major: Biology   

Minors: Mathematics and SSES minors

Activities at SLU: Pre-Health Club, Rotaract, Humane Society Club, Ultimate Frisbee, Student Athletic Trainer, Microbiology Lab TA, Research Fellow Recipient, ODK, Tri-Beta, Pi Mu Epsilon

Why did you choose SLU to start your pursuit of a health career?

I knew as soon as I stepped foot on the SLU campus that it was the right place for me. I appreciated a smaller school because I could create better relationships with my professors than if I had attended a larger school. Personally, I learn better in smaller class sizes and where I feel comfortable asking a lot of questions, so SLU was the perfect place for me to start my pursuit of a health career.

What SLU experience has helped you be successful in your professional program and/or current job?

I'm thankful for the experiences and relationships that were made possible from serving on the E-Board of the Pre-Health Club (Public Relations and  Co-President). Being a member of the E-Board pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me develop into a better, more confident leader. It is from my experiences with the Pre-Health Club that I now feel more comfortable speaking up during classes and becoming more involved in other campus activities at UNE. My time in the SLU Pre-Health Club showed me that with a lot of planning and hard work, I can create real change and help make a difference in the Canton community and beyond. I hope I have left behind the desire to do more, to go beyond your comfort zone, and for others to step up and pursue ideas that will become annual events. I love watching the Pre-Health Club grow at SLU!

What course(s) did you find most helpful in preparation for professional school academics?

Definitely A&P--if you put a lot of time and effort into this course now, you'll be thanking yourself later for sure. The same goes for Neuroscience--I can't emphasize enough how grateful I am that I decided to take neuro. Although it was not a pre-requirement for admission, this course is part of our current PT curriculum and I felt more prepared for it since I took neuro at SLU. I also enjoyed my SSES courses-- Exercise Physiology was especially useful! Of course, the psychology courses I took were also very interesting and beneficial. Additionally, I really liked taking Cross Cultural Perspectives of Healing! Honestly, all of the classes I took at SLU provided valuable experiences and I am very thankful for each one. I really enjoyed being able to take a wide variety of courses that interested me, and to then relate each of them back to the topic of physical therapy. It's fun to see how all of these topics can be connected in a way that you want to think about them!

What advice do you have for students pursuing a career in your particular field?

In general, don't underestimate the power of positive self-talk. This took me a long time to understand and is something that I am still working on. If I had started this practice sooner, I could have saved myself from a lot of unnecessary, added stress. I also listen more to my body, and I know when I need to take a break from studying to go for a walk or just move around a little bit to clear my head in order to be more productive.

Specifically for PT, I would highly suggest researching the various types of settings and try to get as much experience in these settings as you can during your shadowing hours. It's hard for me to think about which setting I want to explore for my clinicals and I wish I had researched more about the different PT settings prior to my admission to UNE. There's quite the large world of physical therapy out there, so don't tie yourself down to the idea of just one setting!

Any unique experiences so far?

At UNE we have an "integrated clinical experience" during our spring semester of our first year, which is the first time we are able to have hands-on practice with real patients. Unfortunately, this was cut short this year (spring 2020), but I really enjoyed the experience, especially working with a fellow classmate. This helped boost our confidence for our upcoming fall semester when we will begin our first full clinical rotation. I was able to witness how physical therapists can be the first health care professionals to notice problems experienced by patients due to direct access to services. We have a responsibility to take into account the whole patient, and our evaluations start as soon as they enter the facility.