Exploring the Health Field

An Internship Brought Chana Litenatsky Inside NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation Center

October 07, 2018
LCW\'s Chana Litenatsky spent her summer at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation Center.

The prestigious internship, whose full title is the Health Career Opportunity Program at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation Center, offers promising students the chance to spend the summer at the hospital learning about the myriad careers available in the healthcare field.  Litenatsky found the internship with the help of Sarri Singer, director of career services at LCW.

“I was placed in the vocational rehabilitation department,” explained Litenatsky. “Our work consisted of helping find employment for people with disabilities—either helping them find work or return to work. We also taught clients job skills to increase their chances of finding employment.”

Litenatsky shadowed a counselor who performed job placement services for clients; Litenatsky also sat in on computer classes and worked to find employment for the clients.

“There was an occupational therapy component to the program as well,” added Litenatsky. “We often had cases of individuals with cerebral palsy or those that used computer-assisted technology like voice-recognition software. We had to figure out how to incorporate that into the jobs we were looking for.”

The internship itself, Litenatsky explained, allows students to experience different paths in the health field. “We were given a name-tag and permission to go anywhere in the hospital. I spent two days with nurses in the delivery room; I visited the OR and the psychiatric floor as well as the physical therapy wing.”

Interns in the programs also listened to lectures across a range of topics in the health field including the financial aspects of large-scale mental health projects and the morality of euthanasia. Litenatsky also aided her supervisor in her supervisor’s research about challenges facing the aging worker with a disability. At the same time, Litenatsky studied the role of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt and reform synaptic pathways, to add to her experience.

“Everything I saw throughout the internship was related to neuroplasticity. Everything rehabilitation does is strengthening new and underused pathways in the brain, which is the essence of neuroplasticity,” she said.

Litenatsky is considering pursuing a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. after graduating.

“This was a unique opportunity to see what working in a hospital is like,” concluded Litenatsky. “There are so many jobs in the hospital, it’s a small community. So many different careers are needed to make a hospital run.”