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Tiffany – “My Hawaiian Adventure”

I am so thankful for my time at Fukuji and Lum. This incredible experience is something I can never forget. As the weather in Boston begins to cool, I cannot help but reminisce about my time in Hawaii. The people in Hawaii, especially at Fukuji and Lum, are so friendly and loving. It is during these 6 months that I began to understand and even adopt the aloha spirit.

Our flight began in Boston, where I was wearing a hat and scarf. I was excited, but also nervous to begin a new co-op experience 5,000 miles away from home. Before Hawaii, I had never been so far from my family for more than a month, and now I was leaving for six months! From the moment I stepped into the clinic, I know I had absolutely no reason to be nervous.

My first day at the Honolulu clinic I was greeted by Lynn at the front desk and I remember thinking how welcoming she was. I also met Art, Shaw, Mike, Mana and Michelle that day and they were all great and willing to teach me about the clinic. Everyone at Fukuji and Lum are great teachers with an inspirational passion for learning about physical therapy.
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Through the six months I was there, I got to meet more amazing people such as Taryn, Julie, Jenni, Blayse, Brittany and Chloe. There was so much for me to learn as I had never worked at an outpatient clinic before. The staff was excited to learn about new techniques and exercises that optimally helped our patients. It was so amazing to see the bond all the staff had with each patient. I began to understand the important role ohana has at Fukuji and Lum.

 As a co-op student I was able to develop my skills and knowledge relating to physical therapy. Working with different therapists and patients helped me grow as a student and future professional. I remember in one of our staff meetings at the beginning of this co-op, I was asked what I am most looking forward to during my experience. I said that I was excited to see my course work integrated into real practice; and that was exactly what I saw. This also works in reverse, because I can take what I learned from Fukuji and Lum and combine it with my future courses.

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On top of being able to work alongside these inspiring, hard-working people, I was able to explore the beautiful islands as well. I lived with two of the other co-ops, Jamie and Rose, and we were lucky enough to live just five minutes from the beach. Once we settled in, we began making a check list of hikes and beaches we needed to visit during our six month stay. With the other co-ops Tim and Dan, we got to visit beaches along the North shore, have some of the best fish tacos ever and hike breath-taking trails like the Kuli’ou’ou ridge.

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We were also lucky enough to visit some of the other islands! Getting to see the lava against a starry sky on the big island was magnificent. Completing the 11-mile Na Pali coast hike on Kauai is one of my greatest accomplishments. Each of the islands were so unique, and I am so happy I was able to experience a few of them!

This experience was enriching in so many ways. I gained a greater understanding of the physical therapy field and what kind of therapist I want to become. Through working at Fukuji and Lum I saw of the impact we can have on patients both through excellent and compassionate care. Thank you again to everyone at Fukuji and Lum and I know that I will always have ohana in Hawaii!

Mahalo and Aloha!

Tiffany