Words of Wisdom from Past Interns

  • Give a lot of thought before you decide to complete a rotation at a place that you are employed.  It may seem like an easy choice but I found there are a few drawbacks.  As an employee I had great relationships with everyone I worked with and I thought it would be smooth sailing as an intern.  I found out that the expectations were higher than other interns, which isn’t such a bad thing but I missed out on some important experiences and orientations.  I found out towards the end of my clinical rotation that all interns were oriented on TF, TPN, procedures, etc that would’ve been helpful.  There are however, benefits to completing an internship rotation at a place where you are/were employed.  I knew everyone in the department so when I did have to complete an assignment I knew who to talk to and where to go for information.  It was also nice because I didn’t have to learn any of the hospital’s programs so that saved a lot of time.  My advice for anyone in this situation is to be up-front with your preceptor and make sure you are both on the same page as far as expectations on each side.  In the end I had a great experience but it was a little rocky in the beginning. 
  • Make sure that you give your preceptor the paperwork for your rotation well in advance.  The foodservice and long-term care rotations, in particular, include a number of assignments, so your preceptor will need time to review them so he or she can plan accordingly.
  • Working with preceptors:  It is very important at the outset for you to have a clear understanding of the requirements as far as documentation and/or paperwork are concerned and verbalize it . Present them right away, don’t seem too overbearing, but give specifics .....what needs  their signature, evaluation etc.  Sometimes the person you report to at the facility is not necessarily the person who will precept you, so many times you have to make  your own notation so it can be transferred appropriately. You may be asked to do things that  may not have relevance to your competencies, however you have to make sure the focus remains constant.
  • Develop the time management that is best for you but make sure one is in place. This is crucial to a successful completion, otherwise you will feel overwhelmed and discouraged to the point that it could become difficult to complete the program. 
  • Always seek help when needed, don’t go it alone, whether it be your intern director, the TA or your fellow interns.