As a student pursuing a Health Sciences career, an internship gives you the applicant's edge. It also helps you "test the waters" before diving into a profession. In some fields, such as dietetics, interning is required for graduation.
A Bachelor of Health Sciences degree is your springboard to both traditional and new age occupations, giving you a range of exciting job options. The ideal apprenticeship can be a stepping stone related to your career goal. The five professions below are in high demand. Some require additional education, but a BHSc degree gives you a strong foundation.
Physical Therapist (PT)
If you aspire to become a PT, shadow an established professional, working in the capacity of a physical therapy assistant. You'll have these rewarding responsibilities:
- designing treatment plans
- performing hands-on stretching
- providing exercise instruction
- overseeing strength training
- teaching equipment use
- applying hot and cold packs
- setting up modalities
You'll also help maintain treatment areas, equipment, and the gym. Some PTs may ask you to pitch in at the front desk, occasionally answering phones, making appointments, writing receipts, and photocopying. You may also be privileged to supervise physical therapy assistants and aides. You can apply for a position at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, private practices, and outpatient orthopedic clinics.
Of the 17 most in-demand healthcare professions, physical therapy is projected to experience the greatest job growth over the next eight years, at 34 percent! Here you can learn the finer details of the work you'll perform during a PT internship.
Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT)
The clinical skills of MLTs are potentially lifesaving. Job growth for this profession is anticipated to increase by 30 percent through 2022. Here are some of the engaging tasks you'll perform:
- taking fluid and tissue samples
- chemically analyzing and testing body fluids
- typing and cross-matching blood for transfusion
- culturing and examining cerebrospinal fluid
- documenting test results
- reporting findings to physicians
- conducting experiments for clinical research
- operating and maintaining technical instruments
- sustaining a sanitary work environment
You'll find MLT internships at research labs, hospitals, clinics, and private practices.
In this profession, the opportunity for upward mobility is above average. Here's what you can anticipate in the course of an apprenticeship, depending on facility type:
- As a hospital intern, you may be able to accompany pharmacists on rounds and observe how they verify orders. You'll also likely prepare IVs, operate a carousel system, and fill a Pyxis automated medication dispensary.
- In a retail pharmacy, you'll type up and fill prescriptions, assist customers, and operate a cash register. You'll also label and package medications. You may learn how to place and verify drug orders with wholesale pharmaceutical companies.
- At a compounding pharmacy, you'll mix preparations, such as capsules, tablets, creams, ointments, gels, and suspensions, following USP guidelines. Since compounds are customized to a patient's needs, you'll follow order specifications. You'll learn how to formulate sterile products, such as eye drops, injections, and IV admixtures. You may also be involved with billing patients and mailing medications.
In addition to intern opportunities at hospitals, retail stores, and compounding centers, you'll find positions in supermarkets.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (DMS)
A DMS intern position fulfills the clinical requirement for graduation. Completing several apprenticeships enables you to find your primary interest for specialization. This strategy can also lead to obtaining a permanent job. Here are the skills you'll hone:
- recording medical histories
- explaining procedures
- interpreting findings
- correlating histories with ultrasound results
- presenting images and reports
- maintaining ultrasound equipment
- updating medical records
From now through 2024, job growth is predicted to increase by 24 percent. Here are further details on interning in diagnostic sonography.
You can acquire clinical experience at a medical lab, outpatient facility, diagnostic lab, hospital, or private practice.
Athletic Trainer (AT)
At a professional level, an AT collaborates with physicians to optimize patient activity. Exercises can resolve physical limitation, impairment, and disability. ATs also prevent and diagnose injuries. When employed by sports teams, ATs provide clinical evaluation, urgent care, and treatment. As an intern, you'll polish the following skills:
- basic evaluation
- taping techniques
- modality use
- rehab program design and implementation
On a team assignment, you'll learn on-field evaluation, team responsibilities, and treatment skills.
You can obtain your clinical experience through physicians' offices, hospitals, sports leagues, and athletic trainers societies.
Experience is the backbone of professional excellence. Interning enables practical application of theoretic knowledge. Working under the aegis of a teacher helps you avoid making rookie mistakes. Health Science internships produce stellar clinicians!