Internships

"I got a really good sense of what day to day life is like for someone who works in a hospital, especially in that field. I think I'm going to go into the job world with my eyes open, and not have unrealistic expectations."

Program of Study: Psychology Major/Spanish Minor
Career Interest: Nursing
Internship: Sheppard Pratt Hospital
Location: Towson, MD

Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities as an intern.
My internship was at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in the trauma disorders unit. I worked mainly with doing symptom management under the supervision of mental health workers. My main responsibilities were to provide patients with tools to help them manage their own symptoms if they were not able to get therapy appointments in time. I also reserved occupational therapists and art therapists and shadowed nurses and mental health workers in their daily rounds.

How did you find your internship?
Through the CDO and my advisor.

What resources did you find particularly helpful in your internship search?
My advisor had a lot of advisees who had worked in different areas at Sheppard Pratt so she was able to provide me with a lot of information. Also, the CDO had a binder of reviews that each student had written about their internship experience, so I looked at the ones about Sheppard Pratt and found a lot of information.

Why did you choose your internship? What factored into your search and applying?
I knew that I wanted to be in Baltimore County, and somewhere close to Goucher. I knew that I wanted something that related to my major, and I needed to get credit for my major. And I wanted an experience that I could use if I decided to go into the healthcare field.

What were you most apprehensive about going into your internship?
I was worried that I would get emotionally attached to the patients, which actually did end up happening. I felt very sympathetic, but had to keep my distance, and not talk about my personal life with them at all.

What did you hope to gain from your internship experience?
A better sense of what I wanted to do in terms of a career. I definitely know what I want to do now.

How did your internship experience influence your academic and career interests/goals/plans?
This semester and for the next semester, I've arranged my schedule with courses that would be more useful to me in terms of getting into nursing school. I began to narrow my interests in the psychology major.

What were the most challenging aspects of your internship?
A lot of things were really challenging. It was really hard to work with people who are emotionally disturbed, and know that I didn't have the skills to help them. I was really limited in what I was able to do as an intern.

What were most rewarding aspects of your internship?
Patients coming up to me and saying, "You really helped me today, thanks for talking to me."

Any funny/ embarrassing things happen during your internship?
Once I went to sit in on a group therapy session, and I fell asleep.

How do you feel your internship prepared you for the real world?
Very well. I got a really good sense of what day to day life is like for someone who works in a hospital, especially in that field. I think I'm going to go into the job world with my eyes open, and not have unrealistic expectations.

What advice would you give to students to help them make the most of their internship experience?
Pay attention, take lots of notes, and ask tons of questions. Also, don't be afraid to ask for more responsibilities, if you think you can handle them.

Aviva Okun

  • Nursing at Sheppard Pratt Hospital
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