A great internship is often an undergrad’s first step into the professional world—a chance to test out potential career choices and build your resume for grad school and, ultimately, to get a job. But finding that great internship opportunity can be daunting! That’s where I can help as ACR’s Director of Staff Development.
I’m a little biased, but I think our internship program here at ACR is an incredible way to make the most of both your patient care experience and your internship experience. Here are a few reasons to help you consider pursuing an internship at ACR.
Great Internships Make an Impact
When interns are unsure about which topic to pursue for research or a special project, I frequently suggest they start by doing a case study on one of the residents with whom they are already working. Pick the resident you know the best, or even the one you know the least, and go deeper: focus on their story, their diagnoses, their medications.
This is how ACR pre-PA intern Anna Hanson found that her resident used to take part in swimming regularly as a water therapy activity but it had fallen off years prior due to staffing challenges. Anna got it implemented again. This is also how Colette Piche, ACR Internship Impact Winner, discovered her resident had been on an antibiotic for acne for 12 years, and worked with her supervisors, RN, and the MD to get it discontinued. I’m impressed every day by the life-changing work our interns do. Sometimes all it takes is for someone, like an intern, to ask “why” something is done a certain way.
Advancement and Growth
Our internships frequently count for credit at certain colleges, but I feel strongly that they’re also simply a great addition to your resume or grad school application. If you’re sitting in a PA school interview someday and you’re asked about your ACR internship (like PA student and former intern Olivia Schultz was), what do you want to say you did, or learned, or implemented? I can work together with you to find a really great answer to that question. In addition, Madison Duffy, pointed out the opportunities for communication that she appreciated during her internship. Every intern meets with ACR’s owner and CEO Jim Nelson (and me!) at least four times—a great opportunity to network and hone your communication skills.
Unique Internship Learning Opportunities
Anyone can research cerebral palsy, for example, or autism, or traumatic brain injury, or learn about those topics in school. The direct care experience at ACR combined with an internship takes you that to the next level as you research a complex condition, work direct care with a person who has this diagnosis, and develop a project that has the potential to impact their life. Recently Kiersten Schoenbauer completed her internship on urinary tract infections—a condition that pertained to her resident. From her research she found out more about causes and prevention, and learned about D-Mannose—a little-known supplement that has the potential to be as useful as antibiotics in UTI treatment. I am excited to know that Kiersten will be a PA someday with this underlying knowledge because of her time at ACR and her interest in learning more about her own resident at ACR!
These are just a few benefits of taking advantage of the great internship opportunities at ACR. Not to mention flexibility! The reality is, I want you to complete your internship, and I want you to use it to your future advantage, and I’m thrilled to know our residents will benefit along the way! So what are you waiting for? One of my favorite parts of the internship is in the process—that’s where you’re thinking and learning and considering the possibilities. Don’t hesitate to get started. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. I look forward to brainstorming over a cup of coffee and talking more about how we can make an internship work for you.
—Sarah Abbott, Director of Staff Development