Rosalind Strickland, senior director of the Office of Civic Education Initiatives, had a unique vision in mind when she created the summer internship program. "My goal was to create a program that would go beyond the traditional shadowing and observation and provide students with real-world, hands-on learning opportunities," she says. Interns are taking advantage of this vision and obtaining first-hand experiences through their internships. Even more impressive than the fact that as high school students, interns are able to move beyond observation at all is the sheer variety of the activities they are permitted to do. From taking vital signs to analyzing samples, interns are being given the opportunity to discover first-hand if their chosen careers fit.
In this program, I was able to look at patient charts daily. I learned how to read nurses' notes and interpret the care that the patients received. While visiting the ED, I was able to assist a patient with getting dressed and getting into bed, and I was given the opportunity to take temperatures as well. These experiences gave me an up-close-and-personal view of the care that patients receive and techniques that make them feel comfortable.