Clinical Externships Available for All Programs
Clinical externships are available for all programs. Externships are experiential learning opportunities, similar in some respect to internships. They provide the opportunity to gain more in-depth and focused hands-on training in a real life environment, under the supervision of a qualified professional. Clinical externships are commonly offered by career colleges and other types of educational institutions to give students first-hand practical experiences in their field of study.
Benefits of Externships
For those completing Medical Career Specialists educational programs in any specialty medical field, externships are greatly encouraged for many reasons:
- Externships offer one of the few ways to enhance theory-base education delivered in a lecture style format--especially for programs that utilize distance and online learning methodologies. They allow for the obtainment of real world experience working along side healthcare professionals.
- A clinical externship in a private practice, clinic, laboratory, hospital, or other medical facility can translate into a career advantage when seeking to enter into the workforce. Externship candidates and participants usually engage with medical professionals in ways that new-hires typically do not experience, mainly because there is much more expected of new hires being paid to perform their job functions correctly than externs that are present to perfect and develop job skills.
- Externs are oftentimes afforded the opportunity to demonstrate focus in on and develop knowledge of their personal employment preferences and interests, as well as to solve medical issues under the guidance of medical staff. Factors such as these provide the extern with invaluable insight into how healthcare facilities operate to achieve successful practices for their patients.
Locating Clinical Experience Opportunities
Both externships and clinical volunteerism can serve the same purpose. Fortunately, there are various ways in which an aspiring or advancing medical professional can realize such opportunities. Some of the sources used by Medical Career Specialists are listed below.
Educators and instructors
Most schools encompass externships and clinical volunteerism as a major element of their training. Medical educators, working closely with the field, will have established and cultivated a multitude of professional relationships with local healthcare service providers. They can be a helpful resource in helping students to locate and select an internship program that addresses the educational and practical needs of students.
Career placement agency
In addition, job placement coordinators and staffing agencies can sometimes assist in locating viable key facilities for placement of students wanting to enhance their clinical knowledge before actually entering the workforce.
Reaching out to contacts that are already working in the health care industry is a great way to find out where there is a demand for specified skills. Making inquiries to doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals with whom you come into contact through social and everyday activities can also prove effective for securing a desired position.
Lastly, there is always the option putting time to good use by volunteering at a local charity organization in need of your skills. This is referred to as communal volunteerism.
Note: Most students are not required to complete an externship to qualify for certification testing, which is dependent upon previous experience in the field. If you are not required to partake in clinicals in order to qualify for examination, then you may exempt them and the associated fees.
Clinical experience can be gained free of charge in instances where students are willing and able to locate communal volunteerism opportunities. See Locating Clinical Experience Opportunities above. Such opportunities do not inherently include the offer of liability insurance or other services offered with clinical externships. However, volunteer work can still be a viable and free method of obtaining the hands-on training required to sit for a given certification examination, so long as all required content areas are covered.
When schools assist in making arrangements for clinical externships, there is an associated fee because schools are required to adhere to specified placement guidelines and policies. Said regulations require that schools offer additional services that are associated with student placement, such as, but not limited to: sponsorship and affiliation, accommodations, legally required insurance and documentation, titling and identification, competencies verification, filing fees, etc. For this reason, there is a fee of $650 (for Phlebotomy or EKG) and $1,250 (for all other programs) added to the program tuition to cover the additional services and arrangements of those needing or wanting to complete a clinical externship of up to three weeks (21 days) in duration. If needing to add an additional week to an externship, there is a $350/week fee to do so.
While a lot of colleges and universities includes externship fees in program tuitions, Medical Career Specialists does not because most of our students are not required to complete externships and thus, should not be required to pay the additional fees associated with externships. Because the process for setting up clinical training can be somewhat lengthy, students must request externships on the Student Enrollment Application at the time of registration to help ensure timely placement.