My Summer Internship Experience (2016)
Ever since I was a little girl, I had always wanted to do something in the medical field. My mom said that I played pretend-doctor and pretended to take vitals at home with a little toy medical kit. As I grew up, my idea of what I wanted to be when I was older changed numerous times. From wanting to be a princess to a mermaid (which I still want to be) an actress and fashion designer, the one career idea that persevered was a position in the medical field. I changed my mind over and over be saying, "I want to be a doctor.... Well, actually, a vet... Maybe a pediatrician." I've had plenty of time to consider my options, but I still haven't decided exactly what I'm going for. I'm deciding between a NICU nurse or a NICU doctor at CHOC. As you can see, either way I want to be in the NICU at CHOC. With the recent development of taking the idea of a career in the medical field more seriously, I gathered my courage to ask a couple at my church about a possible internship position at their clinic. That couple was Dr. Yeh and Dr. Huang, who were generous enough to answer yes, allowing me to become a part of their crew and work alongside their staff to learn as much about the medical field that I could.
A few weeks before I turned 15, I began working at Agape Acupuncture. The staff was super nice and welcomed me to the team warmly. I have to admit, I was surprised when I saw that they made me my very own time card so I could clock myself in and out. Right after my first official day on the job, they had me working in the front, training me along the way; shortly after was making teas. The teas were pretty easy; measure the herbs correctly and put them in the bags for the patient. It wasn't long after I started to get the hang of things that they added scanning charts to my list of assignments. Learning that wasn't very hard either so I continued to scan, and scan, and scan, and scan... I thought the pile of charts would never end. Scanning was fun, but even when you do a fun thing, your brain starts to get bored of doing it over and over repeatedly. They allowed me a break by teaching me about other things to do around the office like organizing the herbs, putting testimonial packets together, and any other work that needed to be done. Between all the tasks that I was permitted to do, they kept me pretty busy. Cristina, one of the staff members, was appointed as my main trainer (although training me was a team effort), so I spent most of my time with her and shadowing how she did more office type stuff. She and I got along really well from the start. We often helped each other to complete tasks and I think we made a good team. I got along with every other staff member in the office too, but because I wasn't by their side 15 hours a week, I didn't get a chance to get to know them as I could.
Next, I began training on how to take a patient's vitals. It was a little tricky at first, learning how to take blood pressure, but I eventually got the hang of it. But my main station was the scanning. The many hours on end of scanning made me an expert. I could probably train people on how to scan because I knew almost everything about it (lol). Even when I had seemed to run out of tasks, I always found more things to do. Because of my age, I wasn't allowed to do a few things in thee office such ass work in medical with the patients, but I was in the medical environment and everyday, I was learning. I received many wonderful compliments from the doctors and my fellow co-workers. I had only been working for a few weeks when the doctors brought up the offer that I might be able to be employed when I turned 17. As you can imagine, I was eager for the next 2 years to come and pass quickly. But then, a new opportunity arose... They wanted to hire me immediately following the close of my internship! I accepted the position and was excited to begin work as an official employee.
When you look as young and short as me, gaining patients trust can be hard. I was instructed to smile and greet patients as they entered and exited the clinic, so that's what I did to everyone who came in. I could tell by the improvement in accepting my greeting that the patients were beginning to feel more comfortable with me. Many of the patients would actually stop and converse with me for a bit; I tried to be as friendly and polite as I could.
As my time in the office as an intern came to a close, I reflected back on how far I had come in knowledge of how a medical office is run, comfortability in the people I work with, and how much my work ethic improved. It's amazing how many things can change and happen in just a short few months. This truly has been an incredible experience and I'm so grateful for it. I look forward to continue working here and learning more about the medical field.
Selah R. (Intern of summer 2016)