What is the Internship Year Like?
Notes to the Prospective Student
- Danielle, Class of 2013 (PDF, opens in new window)
- Christine, Class of 2012 (PDF, opens in new window)
- Sarah, Class of 2011 (PDF, opens in new window)
- Ben, Class of 2010 (PDF, opens in new window)
- Jenn, Class of 2009 (PDF, opens in new window)
ROTATION I: DIDACTIC (August - January)
8:30 am - 4:00 pm weekdays
Morning: 2 lectures
Afternoon: Student Laboratory
• Coursework in all areas of clinical laboratory science;
one course at a time in contiguous format
• Written objectives provided for every lecture so the student knows exactly what is to be learned.Â
• Weekly written exams (some bi-weekly)
- Cover previous weekâ€™s material (semi-cumulative)
- Primarily multiple choice (some T/F, fill in, short answer)
- Test questions are based on the written objectives
• Student Laboratory designed to build skills and reinforce lecture materialÂ
• Practical exams
- Cover student laboratory and corresponding lecture material
ROTATION II: CLINICAL (February - July)
7:00 am - 3:00 pm weekdays
Laboratory Department Rotations
One-on-one training and patient diagnostics
• 5-week rotations in clinical laboratory sections
• Rotation exams
- Cumulative, cover material in Rotation I & II
- Multiple choice (preparation for Registry Exam)
• Practical exams
- Assess competency in performing laboratory work
The most common questions about the hospital internship year are related to being fearful of what is to come: the workload, the phlebotomy, the responsibility, the unknown, and more. I won't hide the fact that the intensive internship year is exhausting; but it can also be invigorating at the same time. Exhausting...because it will be the busiest, hardest and most challenging year of your baccalaureate education; the internship is similar in pace and level of learning as medical school. Invigorating...because you will learn more than you ever thought you could and will be in the 1st line of care for your patients and physicians. You have a lot to learn in 11-months and if you enter the internship ready to commit fully to the year, you can excel. However, the opposite is also true; if you enter the internship thinking that you can "get by" and have an attitude of "good enough," you will most likely have a very difficult year if you are even able to complete the internship.
75% is the minimum passing grade for tests and courses within the first portion of the internship and is designed to push excellence and a solid knowledge base required for the clinical portion of the year. This minimum grade requirement can be a challenge since our professional school is similar to 400- and 500-level university courses. Many students discover the work needed to obtain a 75% on an internship exam was the same amount of work they needed to receive an 85% in a 300-level college science course. In other words, you can't compare the internship year with most college courses…the internship is a year of professional school at a professional level of expectations.
Remember, everything you will be learning in the internship will impact a patient's life - for good or bad - so, make sure your heart is committed to the year. Bring a servant's heart with you that will allow you to remember, throughout the internship, that no matter how tired you are or how hard the learning is, you know why you are doing this - your focus is real and unwavering.
Don't be fearful of the internship year. Many have completed the year before you, so it can be done, and done with excellence. Come prepared to give it your full and upmost attention, and there is help available if you find a subject that overwhelms you. I often tell a story of an interviewing student who asked members of a current class, "What is there to do for fun around town during your internship?" The students laughed at the interviewee and responded "you don't have any time for fun during your internship; you only have time to study and get prepared to study." To be fair, there is time here and there for some fun, but, for the overall big-picture, they were right; this is the 11-months that will seal your professional career and make you indispensible to physicians and patients; come ready to be a success!!
Michele G. Harms, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM