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What is a Clinical Externship?

Follow your passion for a career in healthcare and make a difference.

As a Pima Medical Institute student, one of the most exciting and challenging experiences you’ll have is your clinical externship, which comes at the end of your program.

dental-hygieneDuring your clinical externship, you work side-by-side with professionals in the industry you’ve chosen to study. You help real patients with their individual needs, just as you would once employed. Clinical externships typically last a few weeks at a time and Pima Medical choses the location.

A Pima Medical Institute dental hygiene student and instructor work together in the lab.

So what exactly can you expect during your externship? Each one is different, but here are a few things to know before you begin yours:

  • You may work in a variety of settings, such as a hospital, doctor’s office, clinic, dental office, pharmacy, veterinary office, or other location that’s relevant to your chosen field of study.
  • Ask questions, be proactive, professional, flexible and courteous. This is your prime opportunity to learn about your chosen profession.
  • Be prepared to meet expectations, such as working the required hours, following any required rules, such as a dress code, be punctual and thorough—just as you would at a job.
  • See constructive criticism as a chance to learn and improve. Remember, the people you are working with have experience to share with you.
  • Take advantage of the Career Services office at your campus if you have any questions or concerns during your externship.
  • You’ll be graded and passing is imperative to graduating. After you graduate, your externship location may become the first place you work.
  • Remember, the externship may result in a job offer. If it doesn’t, ask your clinical externship site supervisor for a letter of recommendation, and be sure to add the experience to your resume.

Our students tell us the most exciting time for them is during their clinical externship, where they get to have a truly accurate look at their chosen career field. It’s your time to shine and learn, so make the most of it!

June 2, 2016

Pima Medical Blog

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