Finding health care management internships that cater to your professional strengths can be challenging. By thinking outside of the box and considering your career goals, you can find the best internship for building your resume and landing a great job right after graduation. Use your internship experience to highlight your skills, network with potential employers and stand out from your classmates.
Visit an Extended Care Facility
As Americans live longer lives, skilled nursing care facilities are an increasing portion of the healthcare sector. For many health management graduates, long-term care residences provide crucial entry-level jobs with room for growth and the chance to speak with patients every day. The ubiquity of these facilities make them a great choice for an undergraduate internship. You’ll get a short experience in one of the many types of residential care centers, allowing you to narrow down your post-graduation choices. Try out a short-term rehabilitation center, a hospice facility or a dementia specialty ward and see which area speaks to you.
Focus on Health Policy
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, healthcare became a dominant topic in political conversations. If you were inspired to pursue your bachelor’s in health care management because of this landmark piece of legislation, consider an internship in health policy. Your local statehouse likely needs interns every year to research healthcare statistics, provide policy briefings to legislators and draft constituent communication discussing new laws. You can also look for national-level internships with federal agencies and non-profit organizations like the American Red Cross.
Dig into Electronic Medical Records
Managing patient data with online portals is not only a new trend in healthcare service. It’s also part of the legal changes enacted in the Affordable Care Act. Many hospitals and small medical clinics are struggling to implement electronic medical records (EMR) for patients due to a lack of technologically skilled employees. If you’re a digital native with an affinity for computers, consider pursuing your healthcare management practicum at an EMR company. By picking up this unique experience, you could end up as a director or executive spearheading your employer’s initiative to implement a new electronic records system.
Find a Hospital-Based Internship
With hospitals serving as the predominant work environment for medical managers, it makes sense to look for entry-level internships at one of these healthcare institutions. If working at a hospital is your ultimate career goal, cast a broad net in your internship search. A few months of consistent work in guest services, dietary and nutrition or a clerical role will build your network and demonstrate your work ethic, possibly leading to a full-time job after graduation.
Increase Your Management Skills with a Human Resources Internship
Don’t focus exclusively on the health services portion of your career goal. To be an effective manager, you need to understand how to motivate your staff, follow your unit’s budget and protect your company from potential rights violations. You will stand out from the crowd if you pursue a human resources internship and build these critical management skills. Unlike healthcare knowledge, it’s difficult to learn how to manage from classroom exercises, so real world experience will make you a strong candidate and show recruiters that you have the academic knowledge and the on-the-job training to be a great manager.
A career in health services management offers so many paths. Health care management internships reflect this potential.