What they are and how they can help your career.
Being career-ready is important for reaching success in any career, and that’s why many career training schools may require students to complete an externship at the end of their educational training. Externships and clinicals within your healthcare program provide hands-on experience in a real-world setting and can be beneficial to gaining important insights into a new career field. Programs such as Practical Nursing and Physical Therapist Assistant include clinicals as a part of the curriculum.
What is an externship/clinical?
Externships and clinicals provide the opportunity to shadow a qualified professional, allowing you to experience that field firsthand. Externships and clinicals allow you to understand the full extent of the career you are pursing and many of the details of daily work that can only be learned in the field.
Real-world work experience
Trade schools offer students hands-on experience as part of their training programs. Your career school educational training combined with the knowledge gained through an externship or clinical can provide exposure to working with teams, the rigors of professional expectations and the realities of working with the details of the job. You may also interact with patients in a real clinical setting. During this time, you will learn how to apply your academic studies to professional decisions you may make during your daily routine in your new career.
Externships and clinicals offer you the opportunity to prepare and learn what protocols you need to follow, what job skills you should improve on, how to interact successfully with patients and how to communicate effectively with your co-workers and supervisors.
What is the environment like?
Do you know what type of environment you would like to work in? In the healthcare profession you may work in a variety of different environments from a small physician’s office to a specialty doctor or a busy large hospital. Externships and clinicals may expose you to these types of work settings, giving you the chance to determine if you fit best in a large hospital setting or in a smaller office team.
Opportunity to receive mentorships and advice
Throughout your training you may have received advice from your instructors who have experience working in the field. An externship or clinical allows you to apply the skills you’ve learned in an actual professional setting. This is the time to learn as much as you can about how the healthcare facility works, what improvements you may need to make, how to work with teammates and how to build your professional network for your career. You can use this time to learn how others got their start, where they found their first job, and any advice they may have for you on achieving your goals. By completing an externship or clinical, you can gain guidance that can start your career off on the right foot.
Externships and clinicals give you the opportunity to expand your circle of professional contacts. Your trade school instructors can provide advice, steer you in the right direction or may provide job references, and an externship or clinical site is where you will meet new professionals in the field you want to enter.
At PSI, our Career Services department believes success is gained both in and outside of the classroom. Our team is ready to help you achieve your goals by providing you with the professional development job skills you need to succeed. Stop in to speak with one of our team members, contact us online or give us a call at 1-800-216-5770.