Molly is studying her masters in Occupational Therapy at Pacific University. She joined the VACorps program in January 2020 and participated in an OT internship at a children’s hospital in Cape Town.
“I came to South Africa because I wanted an opportunity to learn about occupational therapy in a context outside of the United States to see the similarities and differences of our scope of practice in another culture. I also wanted to learn how to provide care in a setting with different resources than I am used to so I can push myself, grow my skill set, and gain an outside perspective. Plus, South Africa seemed like such a beautiful, diverse country—what a perfect place to learn!
I’ve been interning in the occupational therapy department at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, primarily in the neurology and neurosurgery wards, providing treatment to children with traumatic brain injuries and other neurologic conditions. I’ve also seen patients in the outpatient (day) clinic ranging from children with severe burns to children with Autism or developmental delays. Working here has really taught me about healthcare in another context and helped me learn how to provide the best care possible while navigating differences in culture, language, or resources. I enjoyed learning about occupational therapy in a cultural context different than what I am used to. I saw a wide variety of conditions and feel like I really developed independence in completing the occupational therapy process from evaluation to intervention to discharge planning.
Outside of work, I have absolutely loved Cape Town! I will never forget all of the beautiful views, wonderful people, and delicious food! I loved all there was to do! I explored so many markets, hikes, beaches, and I feel like I barely scratched the surface! It was always fun to have a weekly outing coordinated by VACorps as well. It was a fun way to see different areas with other interns. VACorps provided excellent support the entire time I was here, and I was amazed at how quickly I felt at home. Two and a half months certainly flew by, and I know that I will be back for more soon!”