January 12, 2018
Kinesiology graduate Manny Acheampong ’15 recently detailed his experiences with workplace hostility while treating racially prejudiced patients in a Kenneth B. Schwartz Center Educational Rounds program at the MGH Institute of Health Professions.
A current physical therapy student at the MGH Institute, Acheampong recalled one particularly disturbing incident in which a patient in the cardiac unit became verbally abusive and threatened to call the police on him. He told educational rounds attendees that his focus remained on keeping calm and concentrating on his medical priority - keeping the patient safe.
“I was inspired to talk simply because my friends and classmates had encouraged me to do it,” Acheampong admits. “I usually do not like to speak about these topics, certainly not in public, but I wanted to have a voice for individuals like myself who go through these experiences but often choose to remain silent about it for one reason or another.”
From this specific challenge and others he’s faced, Acheampong has learned that “we have something to prove to fight against prejudice.”
Since receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from the Kinesiology department in 2015, Acheampong has taken steps to advance his academic and professional career. Following a gap year in which he worked as a physical therapy aide as well as a certified nursing assistant, Acheampong enrolled at the MGH Institute of Health Professions to pursue his goal of becoming a certified Physical Therapist.
“I want to have a fruitful career in physical therapy, invest in my community in my own unique way, and take advantages of the opportunities that may come my way,” he says. “Although still a grad student myself, I can say that dealing with people can be very difficult. My experience will speak to the fact that you need great patience to deal with individuals. Great patience and an ability to see things from an individual’s point of view have been the two characteristics that have helped me to succeed the most with dealing with individuals.”
The full Kenneth B. Schwartz Center Educational Rounds on “When the Patient is Prejudiced,” including Acheampong’s talk, can be viewed here.