Lenore Herget, a 2009 graduate of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, brought twins Cole and Dylan to the annual Baby Day.
The sounds of cooing infants and rambunctious toddlers filled the hallways of the MGH Institute on September 23 during the graduate school’s annual Interprofessional Infant Development Day session.
Although students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Science in Nursing programs have participated in this session for many years, students in the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology joined this year to create a true multi-disciplinary experience.
“It’s great to have students from all three programs,” said Department of Physical Therapy Clinical Assistant Professor Laura Plummer, PhD, PT, DPT, MS, NCS, taking time from explaining nuances of the childrens’ motor skills to more than 50 students. “To provide the most comprehensive patient care, health care professionals need to know what their peers in other disciplines look for and how to work together.”
“Baby Day,” as it is informally known on campus, is a well-anticipated yearly event at the Boston health sciences graduate school. Alumni like Lenore Herget ’09, who arrived with twins Cole and Dylan in tow, regularly return with their children to provide a new generation of health care students the same experience they had during their days at the Institute. The children's ages generally range from four months to four years.
The students focused on different things depending upon their respective major. Physical therapy students looked for such things as motor skills and weight shifting, while students in speech-language pathology concentrated on how the babies reacted to questions and other verbal skills. For the nurse practitioner students, it was observing what the PT and SLP students paid attention to so they would have a better sense of when it would be appropriate to refer a child to a specialist.
First-year speech-language pathology students Katie Saunders and Christina Lasala could not suppress steady smiles as they watched the children parade about on the floor mats. “We watched videos of this during a class over the summer, but it’s not the same as observing real kids,” said Saunders. Added Lasala, “This is a great experience.”