Skylar Sularz

Traineeship Year:


My 2016-2017 social work internship/traineeship at the University of Arizona Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC) was the best choice that I could have possibly made for my second year field placement. This unique program provided me with valuable, hands-on experience in clinical practice, public policy and advocacy, and research. I had many opportunities to observe and lead social work assessments in various pediatric pulmonary outpatient clinics including cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, sleep, vent, allergy, and neuromuscular. The multidisciplinary teams and staff were not only committed to providing great services to the community, but were also consistently dedicated to educating and training me in family centered and culturally competent health care. I felt welcomed to the team and was always comfortable with asking questions to further grow my knowledge and develop my professional skills. I participated in the PPC lecture series to increase my understanding of cultural competence, pulmonary issues, and leadership. This program provided me with many didactic and clinical experiences that allowed me to learn more than I ever could in a classroom. My adoration for learning has never been this great thanks to the thoughtfully planned program. I was able to increase my awareness of community resources by attending various site visits and also grow my research and presentation skills by developing and presenting a needs assessment project. My needs assessment project focused on improving the transition from pediatric to adult care of children and youth with special health care needs by developing a transition flowchart and creating a list of educational training links that coincide with the developmental stages of transition. Although challenging at times, the traineeship was a worthwhile experience that has greatly prepared me for my future. This opportunity allowed me to develop my leadership and professional skills, and start my journey as a leader in the maternal and child health field. I now have a better understanding of communication, self-reflection, and social justice, and I cannot wait to use these skills to assist my future social work patients. I will be forever grateful for the instruction and guidance I received from the PPC staff and will take everything that I learned and apply it to future opportunities. It is apparent that the traineeship has positioned me to succeed in my future in the pediatric health care field.