Surviving your first internship

intern 1
intern 1

Last summer I went on my first internship. I was very nervous but very excited. As a Medical Laboratory Tech student I experienced working in the hospital for the first time. I decided to do a practice run to the hospital, and met with the supervisor for the students. This eliminated most of my nerves.  I was able to experience how nice everyone was, and I was able to get right to work the first day. All of the paperwork that I needed to fill out was done before I even started. My internship was at LIJ and it was a large campus. I got lost on my practice run; this made me feel comfortable for the first day since I learned where I had to go beforehand.

When I met with my supervisor I was able to ask her what the proper attire was. She told me what I should wear and what I shouldn’t wear. She gave me a tour of the lab, the cafeteria, and where I should enter the hospital the first day. I was able to pick up my ID and stop at HR. By the end of the meeting we were talking about lab experience and all different things.  I walked out of the hospital excited and wasn’t nervous at all. I was ready to start the next step towards my future.

To many your first internship is scary. Everyone has their nerves leading up to the day they start. Some may also be excited, and you should be! Your first internship is the closest step to your career. To many medical students, this could be the first experience within the hospital setting. There are many tricks to prepare for your internship to ensure that you are comfortable. Here are the secrets to surviving your first internship!

First tip is to do a practice run to the site of internship. Preparing ahead will allow you to see what time you should leave that first day. This eliminates the nerves towards traveling that you may have. You want to estimate how long it will take you to get there. Your practice run should be around the same time that you will be traveling at.  If you are traveling by car you might want to anticipate traffic, or if you are taking the subway you want to see how often the train runs at that time.

If allowed, walking around the site is helpful as well. It helps you familiarize yourself with the area. You can even get lost on your practice run! It can prevent you from getting lost on your first day. If the site has a large campus this is particularly helpful. You can familiarize yourself with where you should enter, where to pick up your ID, places you can go during lunch, etc.

Another tip is if you can meet with your supervisor, you should. This can allow you to get paper work done so you don’t have to do it the first day. Sometimes you can get your ID, and learn how to get into the site. Usually they will take you on a tour of the site as well. You will also not feel as nervous on the first day because you know the people are nice.

The next tip is to make sure you have proper attire beforehand. For med tech students having both scrubs and professional clothes are important to have. Arriving the first day in proper attire can leave a great first impression. First impressions are very important when starting a new internship. If you don’t know what to wear you can ask what the required attire for the site.  Workplace professional clothing is usually required everywhere so sometimes it’s safe to wear proper attire the first day.

There are many ways you can stay ahead of the game when starting your first internship. You may be nervous but there are so many ways that you can prevent it. Make sure that you look into all of the information you need, and make sure that you come prepared. Bring a pen and paper to take notes, look over your notes and prepare the background information beforehand. The more information you know the less nervous you will be.  Good Luck!

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