Tips for Finding the Right Clinical Externship for You


Careers in the healthcare field are among the list of growing occupations in the United States. As many of those who have enrolled in a health training program or have researched training programs in their search for a new career know, many such programs require an externship as part of your hands-on training. When it comes time to take the next step in your education and find a clinical externship to help you gain some real-world experience before diving into the job market, be sure to keep these helpful tips in mind:

  • Research and learn about the various externship requirements. How many hours will you need to complete? Is the externship a full-time, forty-hour-per-week experience? Finding the answers to these questions up front will help you be prepared to make arrangements prior to going out on externship, leading to a successful and less stressful transition.
  • Talk to your Career Services Advisor. In order to be prepared, find out what types of externships and sites your college is affiliated with. This will give you a better understanding of the different environments you might be exposed to. Talk to your advisor about any healthcare organizations you have an interest in.
  • Ask family, friends, or contacts you have in the medical field for suggestions. You might be surprised at how small the medical field really is and how important networking can be. Every externship depends on the individual to make the experience as valuable as possible, but receiving feedback from those around you can be informative and insightful.
  • Inquire at local doctors’ offices and nonprofits. Some not-for-profit organizations operate clinics that provide free or reduced-price healthcare services. As it is not uncommon for these clinics to be understaffed, they often welcome healthcare students in search of externship hours to lend a hand. If you are curious about a type of practice or particular office, sit in the waiting room and observe. You can get a feel for the flow of the office and how the staff interacts with each other and patients. This will help determine if the office is the right fit for you.

To learn more about the requirements for the clinical externship as part of our health training programs at Arizona College, contact us at 602-222-9300 to connect with our Career Services department.

Information in this blog post is accurate as of February 13, 2013.