The Student of the Year Award winner for College and CEGEP WIL, is Jamie (JJ) Van Goozen, a fourth-year student in the Honours Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences Athletic Therapy program at Sheridan College, a highly engaged student, intern and member of the broader community. During her internship at Sheridan’s Athletic Therapy Clinic, Miss Van Goozen applied her classroom learning and quickly realized that everything she needed to know wasn’t in a textbook. She adapted her ability to treat patients for wheelchair users and discovered a new passion for treating para-athletes.
Miss Van Goozen thinks outside of the box, she took her classroom learning and made modifications as needed to be successful during her WIL experience, making connections between people and places and striving to build a sense of community. Miss Van Goozen responds to new circumstances with a positive attitude. When faced with challenges during her work-term, she was motivated to learn and adapt her previous thinking. She is open-minded and has a desire to try different techniques and approaches until the desired outcome is achieved. She is determined and never gives up! She also demonstrates inclusive behaviors and respects the differences among people.
During her WIL experience at Sheridan’s Athletic Therapy Clinic, Miss Van Goozen was the first internship student to work with a para-athlete who used a wheelchair for mobility. She quickly recognized that the assessment and rehabilitation tools that she learned in class did not apply to her patient who was a wheelchair user, she needed to adapt her techniques to treat a patient in a seated position and in fact some techniques weren’t possible due to her patient’s medical condition. In this experience, Jamie never gave up; she was completely committed to learning how to adjust her treatment strategy for their rehabilitation to meet their abilities and needs. Miss Van Goozen’s positive attitude and adaptability helped the patient regain range of motion, reduce their current pain medications regaining their independence and returning to some everyday activities that they had not been able to do previously, such as baking. “My internship has greatly impacted my overall career development because it allowed me to grow my network immensely. My experience helped me expand my knowledge of the career paths open to someone with ATcredentials and allowed me to work with a population I never thought I would work with., said Miss Van Goozen, […] However, after working with para-athletes and loving it, I am now thinking of directing my career to include more work with this under-serviced population. As most able-bodied athletes are used to having ATs around, I noticed para- athletes are not familiar with the services we provide because they rarely get the opportunity to be taken care of in the same capacity. This has really opened my eyes to what they put their bodies through and realizing they require our services just as much as every able-bodied athlete.”