Almost all allied health care professionals complete an externship during their courses of study. Externships provide medical professionals with valuable clinical experience. They are also seen by many students as a good opportunity to build professional contacts and references. The majority of medical assistant programs require that students complete an externship. While the requirements for externships vary from school to school, the structure of externships tends to be the same.
The Medical Assisting Externship
Medical assistant students complete externships in clinical settings. These externships are generally completed in private medical offices or hospitals. Some students may also choose to complete their externships by working for community health organizations. In general, students should choose an externship in the type of facility in which they would like to work after they have graduated.
During the externship, students will work alongside medical professionals in a clinical setting. They will interact with patients and will have the opportunity to practice skills they have learned in the classroom. Most students find that externships are an extremely rewarding learning opportunity. Some externships may lead to jobs.
Students will interact with patients and will have the opportunity to practice skills they have learned in the classroom.
What Externs Can Expect
As an extern in a clinical setting, a medical assisting student will be required to support doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. The extern must be prepared to put the skills they have learned in classrooms into practice in the clinical environment. Most externs will find that the professionals with whom they work are friendly and are happy to guide them through new tasks.
Externs should also expect to work with patients on a daily basis. Some patients may be irritable, agitated or upset that they are being attended to by an extern. It’s important that an extern doesn’t take criticisms and disparaging remarks made by such patients personally. Patients who are experiencing serious illnesses or dislike visiting medical offices may feel upset and lash out at a new professional.
What is Expected of You as an Extern
Doctors, nurses and other clinical professionals who oversee externs expect that they will act professionally and courteously at all times. Medical professionals understand that most externs have not yet had the opportunity to practice the skills they have learned in a clinical setting. They expect externs to ask for guidance and advice when it is needed. It is essential that externs provide open, honest feedback.
Most externs are expected to assist other medical professionals with day-to-day tasks in the clinical setting. They are expected to show kindness and compassion to the patients with whom they work. Depending on the location of the externship, some students may also be expected to complete basic office support functions.
Medical professionals who oversee externs understand that medical assisting students may make mistakes on occasion. They will provide direction and correction in such situations. Externs are expected to admit their mistakes. They are also expected to show a willingness to correct any mistakes and to learn new methods.
Making The Most of A Medical Assisting Externship
Students who wish to make the most of their medical assisting externships should keep a positive, upbeat attitude throughout this process. At times, externs may feel that the tasks they are required to complete are difficult. However, externs should remember that the medical professionals with whom they work are there to assist and guide them. Externs who are willing to ask for extra help and advice stand to benefit substantially from completing externships.
Medical assisting externships provide students with the opportunity to hone their skills in a real-world clinical environment. Such externships are looked upon favorably by potential employers. They also provide students with a wonderful opportunity to get a first taste of their new careers.