In our third and final chapter of this story, we meet the Bronx, NY’s own Priscilla Guzman. In March 2020, Priscilla was in her final year of her Master’s at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. She has just begun her placement at a Skilled Nursing Facility in Shelton, CT where she was quickly developing a passion for adult Speech-Language Pathology.
Suddenly, the world shut down and she was sent home from school wondering what was going to happen next. Guzman absorbed all of the very sudden changes, adapted, and began looking for a job.
“It was the best feeling in the world to secure a Clinical Fellow (CFY) position in a Skilled Nursing Facility.” Said Guzman of her new position with Language Fundamentals. “Even though I was nervous, I was excited to get the experience I was hoping for.”
“When I began my new position in July, I quickly realized Covid was the real deal. My supervisor, Jaime Faitlowicz, gave me my N-95 mask, reviewed safety protocols, and hand hygiene. She took all of my concerns into consideration and gave me the attention and supervision I needed.” With so many patients having respiratory-related issues, Priscilla quickly became a valuable member of the speech therapy team.
Priscilla went on to share a great example of collaboration. “In March 2021, we had a very challenging trach patient. The patient was NPO on a trach with no speaking valve. Jaime and I problem solved on the spot. From there, I felt so much more comfortable reaching out to more knowledgeable colleagues.”
“I also had the opportunity to participate in some educational in-servicing with Language Fundamentals Regional Manager Caroline Plank. I was able to learn alongside the staff at the building. Each day I learn the importance of collaboration, doing things that are unfamiliar, and learning as we go.”
When asked her advice to the class of 2021 she said, “Be adventurous and be confident. Don’t be afraid to go into the unknown.”