In the classroom, surgical tech students learn about the skills they will need for the job. During an internship, the student learns how to put those skills to work. In other words, the internship is an important bridge from the classroom to assisting in the procedure to be sure everything is sterile, runs smoothly, safely and effectively. When a student makes the most of the internship, it will make it easier for that student to find a job.
Make It a Learning Experience
The first step is to act like a professional. It’s important to check off all the basics: be on time (even be early!), treat patients and colleagues with courtesy and respect and pay attention. An intern who acts like a professional is more likely to be seen as a professional.
There’s more, though. It’s important to make the most of this learning opportunity. Ensure that you’re learning as much as possible by asking questions. Requesting advice or information from your supervisor doesn’t make you annoying; on the contrary, it shows that you’re invested in the internship.
Be a Team Player
Professionalism comes into play here, too. The intern can’t learn how to be a good team player by treating colleagues poorly. The internship is also a great time to learn about how different personalities work together: Get to know your coworkers to gain insight into how to work well with them.
A good team player takes direction from the coach. Be open to all feedback and clarify expectations with your supervisor. Find out how often you will meet with them, and be prepared for these meetings by keeping track of your projects and accomplishments. A great intern may be more likely to get hired, so it’s important to use feedback as a springboard to improvement.
An internship is a great way to gain experience, and it’s a great time to begin thinking about the future. Many times, the internship provides insight into a particular employment situation. For example, an internship in a hospital may help an intern choose whether to apply for a job in a hospital or seek employment elsewhere. After all, there’s a growing demand for surgical techs in outpatient surgery centers, teaching, consulting, and private practices.
The surgical tech’s education does not end with the internship. National surgical tech certification must be renewed every four to five years, either by retaking the exam or by taking continuing education classes. The internship may be seen as the end of the period of formal education, but it’s also the beginning of a career, and continuing education can be an important part of making that career successful.
We’re Ready When You Are
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. Your internship is the first step toward a year of paid experience so you can come and work with us. Give us a call at 310.436.3650 as soon as you’re ready; we can’t wait!