At Pacific, health sciences students engage in hands-on learning—from award-winning outreach programs to clinical rotations. It's all part of how we prepare students to be practice-ready health care professionals.
Building skills through service
Each fall, student pharmacists hold free health clinics in more than a half-dozen cities to help Medicare beneficiaries save money on their prescription drug costs, better understand their medications and receive a variety of health care screenings and services.
"They get to apply what they've learned to real world situations that are unscripted and involve real people with an array of medical conditions and financial situations," said Associate Professor Rajul Patel who oversees the Medicare Part D health fairs. "It's a huge benefit not only for the senior citizens, but for the students."
Through this award-winning program, now in its eighth year, students have served more than 3,000 Medicare beneficiaries, saving participants more than $2.2 million on their out-of-pocket Medicare Part D prescription drug costs. The student pharmacists also provide other health screenings and immunization, such as flu and pneumococcal vaccines, diabetes screening and testing for blood pressure, cholesterol and bone-density. The program received two national awards for community service in 2014.
"It's very rewarding to see the faces of the seniors light up because we were able to help them save a few hundred dollars that they may need for food or to keep the lights on. It's a good feeling to take what we've learned in the classroom and apply it in the real world." — Keira Domer '14.
Leading change through community partnerships
Through the Healthy Children Initiative, a partnership with Kaiser Permanente and the San Joaquin County Office of Education, Pacific physical therapy students gain practical experience and hone leadership skills while tackling the problem of childhood obesity in San Joaquin County.
During the school year, Pacific doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students provide education about nutrition, physical activity and backpack safety in after-school programs at elementary schools in Stockton and several surrounding cities. Each week, students incorporate fitness activities that blend nutritional messages with active games focusing on body movement and stretching. In addition to leading the activities on site, student leaders are responsible for creating the activities, training their classmates, organizing the visits and gathering information to measure the effectiveness of the program.
"As physical therapy students, we can help educate children how to lead more healthy and active lives," said Angelica Villalpando '14.
Developing skill and confidence through clinical preparation
|Chris Wolfinger '15 combines his physical therapy degree and his passion for ice hockey to improve the health and performance of ice hockey athletes. During the past year, he worked with the Stockton Thunder, providing acute care management and assisting players with injuries. This spring he will rotate through three clinical externships, including a sports medicine externship with EXOS™ and the San Francisco Giants.|
Deeply embedded clinical experiences, numerous outreach efforts and plentiful research opportunities provide Pacific health sciences students a foundation for future success.
♦ From the very first semester, pharmacy students develop clinical and patient care skills—both are integrated throughout the curriculum. Students also gain patient care experience in a wide variety of settings that provide them with a foundation of practical training.
♦ Pacific audiology and speech-language pathology students have the benefit of both an on-site audiology clinic and at the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Center in Stockton and typically complete 70 hours of clinical experience during their program.
♦ The physical therapy program culminates in three full-time clinical internships in sites including acute care hospitals, sports rehabilitation clinics, pediatric settings, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers and private practices.
By the time they graduate, Pacific pharmacists, speech-language pathologists and physical therapists are confident practicioners who quickly become leaders in their field.