Follow these simple rules:
1. Even if you want to get hired out of externship, don’t let on that you’re interested until you have been there for at least a month. Wait until you have given them a chance to evaluate your performance.
2. The last week of externship, you should sit down with your supervisor and ask them for an honest critique of your work. You might take this time to ask whether he or she anticipates any future openings with the company or practice. If not, ask if he or she would be willing to serve as a reference for your work.
3. Always be punctual. In fact, arrive early. Every day. Never leave early, or ask to leave early. You only have a short time to make an impression, so don’t sabotage yourself by appearing unmotivated.
4. If you’re uncertain how to do a procedure, ask a staff member to review it with you before you try it on your own. But avoid asking questions in front of patients or their families. Also, try very hard to remember their instructions so that you don’t have to ask how to do the same thing multiple times.
5. Keep busy. Be a problem solver. NEVER tell your supervisor that “you don’t have anything to do.” When you have run out of things to work on, ask a coworker if they would be willing to let you observe them.
6. Learn to be a team player. Do not engage in gossip. Now is not the time to make enemies.
7. Dress appropriately and professionally.
8. Proofread all of your written communications, including emails. Use a spell checker. Read what you write out loud to yourself, because you usually catch more typos that way.
9. If you’re externing in a healthcare facility, do not make yourself a patient. All medical advice should be discussed with your own physician, not the medical staff at your facility.
10. Avoid waiting to be told to do something once you have been there a few days and have been able to observe the routine of the facility.
11. Address patients, staff, and medical professionals by their proper titles: Dr, Mr, Mrs, etc.
12. Learn to take constructive criticism positively. Even if your boss is a jerk, assume for your first 90 days of any job that this is just the way he or she trains. Once you’ve established yourself as a permanent hire, you can have an honest conversation with your boss about unreasonable criticism…or you can just decide to work elsewhere. You have nothing to gain by arguing.
13. Try not to compare the school’s class technique to the office. Most of your employers will do things differently; that’s just the nature of the beast. Be flexible.
14. Leave your personal problems at home.
15. Finally, have fun! Enthusiasm is a great quality, and a smile is infectious.
- The Job Stop