Grace Jodhan, Master of Health Administration candidate, has shared this summary of her summer 2013 internship experience.
I received my initial contact for the Lebanon VA Medical Center from our Career Services Specialist (Charlotte), but that individual was in Human Resources and referred me to their Education Department. There wasn't any particular application/interview process for this internship. I simply worked closely with the Education Department on what were my expectations and requirements for an internship and they matched me with a preceptor.
Throughout the internship I attended department and upper-level management meetings, committees, and training sessions. I worked with my preceptor to solve HR related issues within the department, reviewed applicants' resumes for open positions, and participated in interview panels. Through exposure and hands-on experience I learned a lot about contracts and contract management, patient complaints and resolutions, budgeting and personnel management. I created, analyzed, and reviewed a number of reports. I had the opportunity to review and propose changes to policies, and work with the team responsible for developing a new primary care program for patients. I also had two projects to work on; they involved improving the primary care department's efficiency and retaining the hospital's payments.
At first I didn't like the slow pace at the VA, but as time went by I came to appreciate it because my preceptor and others who worked with me were able to dedicate the time to teach me many things I couldn't learn in the classroom. Besides the pace, I really loved the experience I had. It was fun and I had a tremendous learning experience at the same time. I also enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in almost every aspect of healthcare administration. What also stood out to me was I didn't only work with my preceptor, but I also worked with many individuals at various levels of the administrative ladder. This gave me many perspectives of the job and a better idea of my short-term and long-term career goals.
I had no prior experience in
health administration at the beginning of this internship. But this experience
gave me the opportunity to see first-hand what the job of a healthcare
administrator entails, as well as the opportunity to apply many concepts learnt
in the classroom to the everyday activities of the administrator. At the end of
my internship, I knew without a doubt that this is truly what I want to do in
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