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YooJin Cha

SFU Student Undergraduate

Position Title
Through this work experience as a treatment technician, I realized that every day is another day of learning!
Experience Details
Application and Interview Tips
  • The first thing I would do is check the website and align their needs with yours. Also, make sure to do some detailed research about the company to show that you are truly interested.
  • Take deep breaths before going into the interview and pretend to be confident even if you are shaking on the inside!
  • Make sure to create a professional resume. Ask your advisor, friends, and family to read over your resume and provide feedback for revisions. 
Introduction + Preparation
Previous Experience

I had previous experience in the customer service industry, working as a server at restaurants and volunteering as a food provider for people without shelter. I was able to transfer a lot of skills that I gained through these experiences to this position such as communication skills, multitasking skills, and problem-solving skills. 

I did not have previous work experience in a clinical environment; however, some courses that I took at SFU helped with the adjustment to a clinical setting.

Preparation Tips for Future Students

The best preparation tips for students is to take advantage of are the courses that SFU offers. For example, BPK241W was very helpful because it provides training on the process of consultations and basic palpations. However, this is not mandatory and only a tip! You will receive thorough training by the professional staff and every day will be a learning experience so that you never feel unprepared with your work tasks. 

During my Experience
Orientation and First Weeks

During the first weeks at the clinic, I closely shadowed my supervisor and was asked to give minor assistance here and there. This was a good start to my working experience at the clinic because I felt more prepared and confident during the second week of active training.

I was provided specific training on the treatments that the clinic offers which consist of chiropractic, Class IV cold laser therapy, and spinal decompression treatment with information documents on each to take home and study.

Thanks to my kind and patient supervisor and co-workers, I was not overwhelmed during the first few weeks and was gradually able to adjust to the flow of the clinic in no time.

Day to Day

The main tasks that I was responsible for were providing class IV cold laser treatment and assisting with DRX9000 spinal decompression treatment. For laser treatment, using a class IV cold laser, the ultra head or the handheld piece of the laser is positioned over the area of pain for treatment. For spinal decompression treatment using a DRX9000 machine, an upper and lower harness is placed on the patients who are then positioned on the decompression bed. 

I would say multitasking is a very helpful asset to this position because there are many responsibilities to juggle around. I have to be constantly focused and keep in mind which patients are where and how many minutes of treatment are left for each of them.

After a few months of being hired, I was able to explore more roles in the clinic. Initially, I started by assisting with spinal decompression and laser therapy, however, now I get to explore front desk work, participate in consultation and examination and neuropathy treatment.

Learning and Adaptation

It has been about 8 months that I have been working at this clinic and I still have something to learn every day. For the first few months, most of the work was repetitive until I practiced enough to feel confident completing each task. After I adjusted to the repetitive work which included putting patients on laser treatment and decompression treatment, I was slowly trained to do other roles in the clinic which included booking appointments, taking phone calls, processing payments, writing down notes for consultation, and palpating. There were times when I was often just thrown into the situation but this helped me very much with my risk management skills.

Accomplishments and Challenges

Some challenges that I faced were patients who were in constant complaints due to their pain. For example, some patients visit the clinic and want instant relief from their pain which does not happen most of the time. It requires patience and time which is difficult to have when they are in excruciating pain. I was able to overcome these challenges by growing empathy and having patience with the patients while they became more comfortable. This initial unfamiliar experience of working with people in pain is overcome by the rewards of watching them slowly feel better and they become more comfortable. Moments like these become my motivation throughout my day to work harder. 

Reflection & Tips
Most Valuable Aspects of This Experience

I would say that the most valuable aspect of this experience is that you get to explore more of working in a clinical setting and meeting people from various backgrounds. I realized that the world that I live and study in is not the only one and there is so much more to it. By encountering many different patients, I get to listen to what people go through, what makes them happy, and why they are struggling. I was able to improve my communication skills through empathy and active listening.

Also, the fact that I was able to gain clinical experience was so valuable. Working at this clinic narrowed down what I want to do in the future. I want to pursue a career where I can be a help to people and help them feel better when they are struggling.