UPDATE (3/12/2012): You can find other articles related to medtech here.
I just had a thought to write something for the medtech intern recently. In the previous two articles, I only address tips for the clinical division students. I believe I should share some guidelines also for the interns since the world of CD and of intern are quite different.
My Intern times may have past almost three years ago, but all the lessons, pain, troubles, and fun will always be fresh in my mind. Like the one year I spent in clinical division, my one year (ok, plus several days I got because I had absent and sick leaves) is paradoxically one of the best “toxic” year in my life. Think about it, what other course could have force you to travel around Philippines and mess around in one year (I had my intern in Mindanao Sanitarium and Hospital, Manila Adventist Medical Center, and Cagayan Valley Sanitarium and Hospital).
If there is one thing that pay all of the hardships in clinical division, it’s certainly the internship year. But be careful, it’s not a “honey and milk” year. And I hope my tips can give some insights for those who are going to intern and those who are already there as well. Let’s get going:
You Don’t Know Everything Yet, So Don’t Ever Think You Do
I know, the feeling of passing the formidable one whole day medtech comprehensive exams is almost like the feeling of being accepted when you court your crush. You just can’t believe that, after all the sleepless nights, it is now over. You now then may think that you have know all what you need to know to be a good medtech. Besides, that’s what the compre exams for right? To prove that you “know everything.”
Think again cowboy… (and cowgirls). My first advice to those who are entering intern world, keep yourself humble all the times. Even, passing the compre in the first take doesn’t prove you know them all.
Respect Your Staff, Senior Interns, All Hospital Workers, and oh yeah.. Your Fellow Interns
Okay, maybe this sounds like a cliche, but I just want to emphasize it, especially for those who have been more than 6 months in intern. Because it’s maybe easy to forgot this one when you are already close to the people in the hospital. You may then start to treat them like your other friends.
But keep in mind that though you have befriend them, you are still an intern, and at all times you should always respect them. Don’t overtease them, much worse, embarras them. Besides, your grading in the intern will be affected much with good relation with your staff and not with your perfect attendance. So woulnd’t it be good to treat them once in a while just to make sure that you keep them happy with you.
One more, you also should always respect your fellow interns because all of you are at the same level, so why should you think you are more special.
The CD Smartest Is Not The Intern Best
One very interesting thing you will see in Intern is this one. You will see that your smartest batchmate (if it’s not yourself) is not always be the best in intern. In intern, it’s time for “Less Theory, More Common Sense and Real World Skills.”
To be honest, those CD theories aren’t much worthy in intern. Think of it this way, do you think the patient care you know the the name of the middle vein if they are in pain because you are “fishing” for it?
Or do your staff care if you can explain the principle of all chemical test in chemistry section if you mislabel one of the specimen?
I know you get my point.
Don’t Take It Personally, It’s Only Work
Your staff just got mad at you because you had little mistake in following their instructions, and now you are in bad mood. That’s normal, nobody likes to get mad at. But don’t take it personally because they do it to shape you into a better medtech. I believe they don’t like to get mad also if they don’t need to (unless it’s their hobby).
Having internship is medtech’s great advantage because we have a taste of work life before we officially work. And in work, we don’t get good result by doing bloopers. Your staffs are there to train you to be a capable and skillful medtech (although sometimes you may think that they are there to exploit you). Do you think they need you to do their job? No way, you may even disturb them most of time.
My “favorite” teacher, Sir Eldz, always say, “They don’t need you; You need them.”
Be patient, learn from all your mistakes, listen to your staffs, and you will thank them later on.
Have Fun, Enjoy!
Internship is not all toxic hours, attending “hundreds” of ER calls, or dealing with endless urinalysis tests. Regardless all the stress, internship has a lot of fun that you can experience. Sure you will need time to adapt with the staffs, senior interns, and all people around you. But like in the 4th tip of Survival’s Guide to AUP Medtech, these people around you are also fun to be with.
During intern, we always play bowling, billiard, and volleyball with some of the staffs when we have the chance. We joined the MAMC volleyball tournament and PAMET bowling competition together. If you are assigned in the rural, such as Mindanao, Palawan, and Cagayan Valley, your staff will gladly accompany you around to see the beautiful Philippines.
It’s not hard to have fun in internship, just be open to others, participate, and enjoy everything!
What’s The Bottom Line?
(Sorry Sir Eldz, I got to borrow one of your favorite line again.. :D)
Internship life it’s not harder than the CD life, but nor it’s easier as well. It’s just different, so practically what worked in CD may not work in internship, just like what worked in pre-Clinical may not work in CD. It’s also full of fun and surprise from the day one.
For me, besides CD, internship is another fun part of medtech life and full of expereince that I will never forget.
I hope with the five tips above I can help the interns-to-be and encourage those who are facing challenges in adapting with internship life. 😀 If you have questions or comments, feel free to write in the comments section below, or email me.