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Health Internships/Vacation Programs for Undergraduates
There are different types of internships in the health department ranging from medical, public health to pharmaceuticals. The experience and skills that undergraduates pick up throughout the internship is a head start to landing their future career choice whether it be in medicine, a dental assistant or in pharmaceutical research, there is a wide range of opportunities. You can experience medical internships in a private practice, clinic, laboratory or hospital setting with various tasks where interns are usually given the opportunity to focus on their personal interests.
Requirements for the health industry varies by sector, however they may include:
- Research skills
- Statistical knowledge
- Ability to organise, prioritise and handle multiple tasks simultaneously
- Ability to work in a group and independently
- Written and oral communication skills
- Critical thinking
What to Expect
There is a wide range of responsibilities as an intern depending on the area of the health sector you are assigned to:
Healthcare is a broad field in health and it offers a wide range of internships in different areas with duties that vary. You can find internship duties in human resources, finance, healthcare laws and regulations, healthcare management and business administration. Interns in healthcare will carry out projects and tasks that are customised to their interests or primary study
Medical internships have two types of interns which are general or transitional and are exposed to a variety of medical specialties. This can help interns decide on what they would like to specialise in further in their studies or post-graduation. Responsibilities of a medical intern are supervised by professional mentors and would include:
- Patient care (before and after surgery)
- Medical procedures (catheterisation, biopsies and intubation)
- Documenting patient care and evaluating incoming patients
Interning in pharmacy will help you develop and apply your knowledge and skills into a variety of areas including clinical pharmacy, therapeutics and complementary medicines. The responsibilities of an intern may include broad and specific duties such as:
- Identifying and managing prescription problems
- Patient interviewing and medication review
- Dispensing and filling prescriptions
- Measuring and packaging drugs
- Record-keeping etc.
An internship in the public health sector gives you the opportunity to gain experience in public health where you’ll not only improve the health of an individual but also an entire community. The public health sector is quite vast as it involves everything from treating the disease to teaching the public about healthy lifestyles. A few things you’ll learn through the internship are:
- Treating illness
- Preventing illness and injuries
- Health service research
- Health promotion analysis
As an intern, you might get the opportunity to visit different communities where you address their health issues. Recently as the public has become more aware of the effects of pollution on their health, the demand for public health expertise has been increasing and internships will help you find a job in this sector.
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