Externships can be scary, but they are an integral part to a health care career. With an externship, you are put in your working environment and your studies are put to the test. Read below about Jamie Sanders, a CHCP Online Medical Assistant student's, experience at her externship.
I recently started my externship and let us just say I was scared to death. I am not really an outgoing person who likes to be thrown into things. I like things to stay the same and not change and boy was this a huge change. I was terrified of what this externship was going to be like, how the people were going to be, what things they would be having me do, and if I was prepared enough.
My first tip for those preparing for an externship is to just breathe. Relax and try to roll with things is my best advice. Stressing out does not help prepare you. It did just the opposite, in my case.
My second tip would be not to worry about the people. They are there to help you or they would not have offered to have an extern at their site. I found that everyone is as helpful as can be; after all, they were once here before, too. If you are stressing on what they may or may not have you do then do something about it.
My third tip is to ask either your instructor or the person who is in charge of you at the extern-site if you can get a list of duties that are going to be tackled or how the hours are going to be split up. This helped me relax because I knew how things were going to go and what to expect. Leaving no surprises let me focus on each task that I had on hand.
I believe that through our labs and classes at CHCP we are prepared enough. Multiple things that I have been asked to do I have been able to recall going over it in class and am able to complete successfully. If being prepared enough is a concern then my final tip would be to go over lab handouts and notes that have been taken throughout classes to get a better hold or just to refresh your memory. Overall, the externship is a bit scary and stressful, but once through that door, things change and everyday can bring new learning experiences.
--Jamie Sanders, CHCP Online MA extern