BHS 410 – Health Professions Internship

INTRODUCTION

An internship is defined as a set of experiential learning activities sponsored by an educational institution and typically occurs in an off-campus setting as full or part-time work.  The Health Professions Internship (BHS 410) provides a way for BioHealth Sciences students (pre-physician assistant, pre-physical/occupational therapy, pre-optometry, pre-nursing, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, or other health professions) to earn academic credit for on-the-job learning involving the various activities and functions of the mentor health care facility, government agency, or other organization.  The internship should be considered as a cooperative academic program that integrates the student’s resources with those of the university and those of the participating organization.

The value of the internship program is the positive contribution it makes to all involved.  A successful internship experience depends upon three key factors:

  • An intern who realizes and fulfills related responsibilities and commitments,
  • An agency or business, which provides a supportive work environment for the learning experience, and
  • Appropriate supervision from both the Supervisor and the Internship Coordinator.

Primary Objectives Will Generally Provide the Intern with:

1.  Encouragement to expand their education beyond the classroom experience,
2.  The opportunity to observe and apply theory and technique to actual situations, beginning the transition from the role of student to that of professional,
3.  Practical field experience on which to build their professional careers since experience is usually prerequisite to the qualification for a paid position,
4.  Further professional preparation for the intern on the job, under the direction of qualified personnel,
5.  Continuing evaluation of the intern's growing abilities and needs, and the opportunity to clarify career goals,
6. Participating organizations with an opportunity to become involved in the preparation of future professionals, internship supervision opportunities for staff, interaction with field professionals, and an ongoing partnership with the BioHealth Sciences Program at OSU.

ELIGIBILITY

  • BioHealth Sciences undergraduate students are eligible to receive academic credit for this internship.
  • It is highly recommended, that a student be of at least junior standing.
  • Student must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.00.
  • Students may work for pay or as a volunteer.
  • An internship may not be repeated.

ACADEMIC CREDIT

  • A maximum of 12 internship credits are allowed in an undergraduate program.
  • Number of credits may vary from 1 to 12.
  • Each credit of internship requires 30 hours, or 3 hours per week, of on-site work per term (ten weeks).
  • To receive credit for the internship, students must register for BHS 410 after receiving an approval and an override from the Internship Coordinator.
  • Students are required to pay for the number of credit hours registered.
  • Credit is earned only for work that has genuine academic value.

GRADING

  • Grades are assigned by the Internship Coordinator only for pre-approved proposals.
  • Internship must be completed during the registered quarter, unless otherwise agreed upon between student and Internship Coordinator.  
  • BHS 410 is graded Pass/No Pass.  An incomplete (I) grade will be assigned only after students have discussed this option with the Internship Coordinator by Monday of week eight of the term.  Failure to follow instructions will render a student with a No Pass grade.
  • Grades include:
    1. The final evaluation from the Partnering Organization’s Supervisor,
    2. An electronic journal e-mailed to the Internship Coordinator by 5 p.m. on Friday of week 5
    3. An electronic journal e-mailed to the Internship Coordinator by 5 p.m. on Friday of week 10
    4. An electronic final report e-mailed to the Internship Coordinator by 5 p.m. on Friday of week 10

RESPONSIBILITIES AND PROCEDURES

The Participating Organization Supervisor and the Internship Coordinator should monitor the progress of each intern, in consultations with the intern and each other, regarding problems, solutions, challenges and evaluations, and in relation to the internship contract.

The Participating Organization should provide a practical experience, which utilizes, in varying degrees, the content and objectives of the classroom courses of the student's major curriculum and option.  The internship assignment should be a learning experience which employs the student's professional preparation and which aids in accomplishment of the student's career goals. 

Responsibilities of the Intern

  1. Identify an internship.  The student must identify an internship that is appropriate for his/her interests, knowledge, skills, education objectives, and schedule.  Obtaining an internship depends entirely on an agreement between the student and the Participating Organization.
  2. Meet with Internship Coordinator to discuss policies, procedures, internship sites, determine the academic value of the internship, the credit that might be earned, etc.
  3. Complete the Internship Application and Contractual Agreement and the Educational Objectives Guidelines to explain of how the internship will further your education.  You may use the Educational Objectives Guidelines to help with the process. Submit original to the Internship Coordinator and a copy to the Participating Organization’s Supervisor.
  4. Obtain an override for the course from the Internship Coordinator.  An override will only be given once the Internship Coordinator has received the signed forms. It is the student’s responsibility to produce all forms by deadline.
  5. Maintain a reflective journal during the internship.  Journal is to be sent electronically to Internship Coordinator for review on Friday of week five by 5 pm, and again at the end of the internship (Friday, week 10), by 5 pm.
  6. Submit a Final Report (minimum of 5 pages) to the Internship Coordinator.  The report should include an overall description of the internship and the participating organization,  work expectations, duties and what was learned, and your experiences based on your learning objectives, and career goals.  The evaluation should be related to specific events in the internship and to the learning contract.  The report should be submitted electronically, by 5 pm on Friday of week 10.
  7. Informally report your progress to the Supervisor throughout the internship.
  8. Provide the Participating Organization’s Supervisor with Mid-term and Final Evaluation forms and check that they’ve been returned to the Internship Coordinator.
  9. Review mid-term and final evaluation forms with the Supervisor prior to the completion of the internship.

Responsibilities of the Partnering Organization and Supervisor

The Participating Organization's Supervisor assumes responsibility for the supervision and instruction of the intern by using the organization's functions to enhance her/his professional growth and development.   The Supervisor shall:

  • Upon acceptance of an intern, sign the Application and Contract Agreement provided by the student.
  • Provide the intern with an understanding of the administrative structure and the mission or function of the organization;
  • Conduct a training program to acquaint the intern with facilities, equipment, programs, personnel, policies, records, administration and relationships;
  • Assist the intern to accomplish previously defined university and organization requirements;
  • Provide the intern with a variety of experiences and assignments, which will enable her/him to discover individual strengths and weaknesses;
  • Supervise the intern in all organizational assigned tasks, which shall be assigned in writing;
  • Provide opportunities for professional growth, through constructive and objective criticism and by encouragement of self-evaluation by the intern;
  • Assist the intern by providing opportunities to accomplish professional experiences and position duties proposed by the intern;
  • Schedule weekly conferences with the intern for the purposes of arranging work schedules, analyzing problems, and discussing performance competency;
  • Consider the intern as part of the junior staff and encourage high standards of performance;
  • Confer with the Internship Coordinator, upon request, relative to the competency of the intern,
  • Perform mid-term and final evaluation of the intern's performance, discuss evaluation with the intern, and submit midterm (week 5) and final evaluation of the intern to the Internship Coordinator.  The final evaluation should include a grade recommendation based on the professional performance of the intern.

Participating Agency Benefits

  • An opportunity to contribute to the professional development of potential future employees by providing an introduction to the agency's philosophy and policies.
  • Employment of an individual who has chosen this field as a profession and is therefore enthusiastic and motivated to perform at a high level.
  • Potential reduction of future recruitment and training costs if the intern is subsequently employed by the agency on a seasonal or permanent basis.
  • Establishment of a mutually beneficial relationship between the agency and the academic community from which other cooperative work relationships might evolve.
  • An opportunity to provide agency input into university curriculum planning and implementation.
  • Completion of special projects and other internship-related tasks that enhance agency productivity.

Responsibilities of the Internship Coordinator

  • Approve final arrangements of all internships;
  • Maintain close contact with the Organization Supervisor regarding the progress of each student ;
  • Act as a liaison and resource person for the Organization Supervisor and the intern;
  • Assist interns in the achievement of their internship goals;
  • Assess assignments and assign final grade in the course;
  • Provide the Organization Supervisor with information about the internship program;
  • Evaluate and make suggestions for improvement of the internship program; 
  • Provide conference sessions to the Intern or the Organization Supervisor.

ASSESSMENT OF THE INTERNSHIP

The Internship Coordinator, in cooperation with the Partnering Organization Supervisor, shall assess the effectiveness of the intern’s performance prior to the end of week two of the internship.  If sufficient orientation and supervision has not been provided or the performance of the intern is not deemed acceptable, the Internship Coordinator shall have the responsibility to terminate the internship.  If the performance is acceptable, then the internship shall proceed to completion.  Evaluations and Assessment Forms shall then be maintained as part of the student’s official record.  Formal closure of the internship will be initiated by a completed internship site survey that is submitted by the student to the Internship Coordinator.