Above all, this is not a hands-on type program, this is an observation only program. When shadowing at the hospital, clinics, or DSHS, there are certain guidelines that each intern is expected to follow. You should always have the capacity to care. You will need to have the ability to communicate patiently and clearly with people from varied backgrounds and intellectual capacities. Listen to what is being told to you by the doctors, hospital staff, and public health officials. Being an intern requires alertness and the willingness to do as directed as well as being patient and in control in any given situation. Patient confidentiality is a necessity in any situation. You should be prudent enough not to converse about a patient except as appropriate. Always be reliable and prompt to your scheduled rotation time.
Scheduling Rotation Times
Hospital & Clinics
When scheduling rotations with any family practice, pediatrician, or specialty physician, interns must arrange with the administrative assistant as soon as possible. The intern should make an attempt to schedule in advance unless the assistant specifies for you to wait for a small period of time. The people working in offices are volunteering their time to work us in to the doctor’s schedule. Always make it a priority to be extremely polite to them.
Texas Department of State Health Services
Interns will need to contact the volunteer director at DSHS to send in their choices of areas they are interested in volunteering. The intern will report to whoever is in charge of the public health department that they have been selected based on their choices.
Preparation for Rotations
Most of all, you should dress professionally since you are representing the program. Always wear name badge during rotations at hospitals, clinics, or DSHS. This is a LAW! You must have proper identification. Dress with appropriate footwear. Be practical. Wear shoes that will not slow your mobility down. Always bring appropriate supplies to hospital, clinics, or DSHS. Most hospitals provide scrubs for you to wear. Always have a pen and paper somewhere near you. You do not need to carry these items with you at all times, but this may be a good idea. You can put a pen and a small notepad in your coat pocket.
It is a major importance to be prompt and on time to your rotations. Doctors are often very polite, however, you never know what they may say to you if you are late. When you arrive to an office for your rotation, check in with the administrative assistant or others in the office, and allow them to give you permission to enter the clinical area. In regards to cancellations, please notify the administrative assistant as soon as possible, but it is imperative that you make up that time that you missed. Also, call them if you are late, so that they do not wait around for you when patients are waiting. The same procedure for rescheduling or canceling hospital rotations times applies to the DSHS rotation as well. Always call if you will be late or if you need to reschedule. However, it is important to keep your date because the office may have scheduled certain events around you.
Special Notes for Surgery
Prior to morning surgery in adult or pediatric, you should eat a good breakfast!! Bring tennis shoes to change into prior to surgery. The hospital provides the scrubs required to be worn during surgery in the OR. Even if you own a pair of scrubs, you must use the sterile hospital scrubs. Always introduce yourself to the members of the surgical team. They are helpful. Please do not hesitate to inform someone if you are feeling dizzy or uncomfortable during a procedure. This occasionally may occur. Hair must be tied back during surgery, even if observing only.
You should try to get a lot of sleep the night prior to your rotations. For some interns, this may be one of your first experiences of having to be present at a hospital so early in the morning. So, get yourself ready the night before as much as possible. It is also helpful to bring a pad lock with you in case you have to change and there are lockers available in the changing room.
Try to enjoy yourself. The doctors and public health workers are all looking forward to having you as a student, and they are volunteering their time just as you are. Make the most out of your experience. Stay as long as you wish if you are invited to do so.
Carry the phone numbers of the coordinators with you at your rotation. Call them without hesitation if any questions or concerns arise.