Real-World Experiences for Students and Interns at Community Alliance

Left to Right: Rogdrell and Lisa Mesadieu

At Community Alliance, our team includes licensed physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, and mental health counselors, and many unlicensed professionals with expertise in rehabilitation and behavioral health settings. Our hiring diversity makes it possible for our clients to receive a multi-disciplinary, integrated approach to healthcare. This same diversity also makes Community Alliance the ideal location for future healthcare workers to get real-world training and experience in varied areas of integrated health.

Students at Community Alliance benefit from the opportunity to learn from professionals in disciplines other than their own as they complete their practicum, internship, preceptorship, and residency activities.

“Inter-professional clinical opportunities are meaningful because students move from textbooks and case studies to application and reflection. CA is a setting in which team members genuinely listen to and value one another’s contributions for the betterment of the client, so it fosters an ideal student environment,” said faculty member, Amanda Wise.

Left to Right: Meg Bidrowski and Samantha

Quality Training Led by Experienced Professionals

Nursing students enjoy shadowing, assisting and learning from our nursing team, and they also appreciate the opportunity to observe our Family Medicine physician (Dr. John Brady) and our Advance Practice Registered Nurse (Dr. Heather Bowen) in our integrated care clinic.  Occupational Therapy students are grateful for the opportunities to co-facilitate groups with Mental Health Clinicians in our Day Rehabilitation programs, as well as assist staff in our Psychiatric Residential Rehabilitation homes with individual skill assessments and therapeutic interventions based on these assessments.  Counseling and Social Work students learn therapeutic techniques, clinical assessment skills, treatment planning and care coordination from our team of Mental Health Practitioners and Care Coordinators. 

Left to Right: Angel Thomas and Tony

Excellent Field Placement Site

Our agency has earned a reputation as a stellar field placement site for students, with several new and expanding programs seeking to collaborate with us to secure placements for their students.  This semester, we hosted our first student from UNMC’s new Occupational Therapy Doctoral program.  We also welcomed our first group of Occupational Therapy Doctoral students from College of Saint Mary for their Level II advanced fieldwork experience, which required the college to provide its own faculty to oversee the 1,920 hours of clinical activities the students completed over 12 weeks.  Public Health programs at UNMC and UNO are also now collaborating with our agency to provide field experiences for their students at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels.

“CA offers a supportive learning environment because of its established inter-professional team dynamic. Students thrive within CA’s many client-centered programs as they apply and refine their didactic coursework, rewarded with genuine team collaboration,” said Amanda Wise.

Faculty from these programs tell us that they value the opportunity to bring their students to Community Alliance because of the welcoming environment they find here, where students are embraced by staff, mentored and guided, and are given opportunities to learn, ask questions, and practice their skills.  One faculty described her gratitude for herself and her students being able to be a part of the Community Alliance “family” throughout the semester.

While hosting over 400 students per year can be somewhat labor-intensive, our staff find that it is worth the investment, as they learn from the students, too.  Whether it is information about new research or resources, new techniques, interventions or therapies, or just having students bring fresh energy and ideas to our programs, our staff report that the students add value to the programs every day.

Left to Right: Lisa Mesadieu, Angel Thomas, Meg Bidrowski, Keisha Henry-Wilson

Moving From Student to Employee

Generally, at the end of these field experiences, the students, staff and clients are all sad to see their time together end, which is when our Human Resources team is introduced to explore opportunities within the agency for these students.  Currently, we are in talks with nine of our current students about these employment opportunities, highlighting the benefits of free supervision for clinical licensure, tuition reimbursement, and assistance with professional licensure fees, which add to the many reasons to stay on as part of the Community Alliance “family” after graduation.

We’re Hiring

For recent graduates or experienced professionals interested in a career in integrated health, Community Alliance is looking to expand our team. Help us continue striving towards the best possible outcomes for the individuals we serve. Apply today, through our website, for available non-profit positions or by calling us at 402.341.5128. If you believe in our mission of providing person-centered care as much as we do, please consider applying.