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.
Every day, I take patients' vital signs, both on the floors and in the medical offices under my mentor's supervision. I take their blood pressures, temperatures and pulse oxygen levels. I have also taken newborns' vitals in Nursery. I work in an outpatient unit, so I help prep patients before they go in for a surgical procedure. Taking vitals makes me feel like an important part of the nursing staff on the sixth floor. It also is the best way to converse with patients and make them feel comfortable, because the majority of the patients are nervous. I have to make sure the patients are calm and relaxed before a procedure.