A Summer in Dublin
Employer: Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin
Job Title: Intern
Major: Health Professions
Received Credit: Yes
Description of the Organization
Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin is one of three children's hospitals in Ireland. It is the only hospital with a pediatric heart center and the largest of the three hospitals. It's been open since 1956 and recently had a new wing added on, making its current capacity 227 inpatient beds, 7 theaters (operating rooms), the National Centre for Medical Genetics and National Children's Research Centre.
Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed
During my internship, I rotated through the hospital. I spent most of my time in finance, patient support and cardiac with some days observing labs, conferences, and the play room. Most of my work in finance was based around getting new bills from the post, sorting them and putting them into the computer. In the cardiac department, I spent a lot of time updating charts and making sure they charts are where they are supposed to be in the hospital. I observed some cardiac conferences about patients and planning their treatment. I also observed some cardiac cath procedures. During my time in patient support, I helped release copies of patient charts requested under the Freedom of Information act. I also logged complaints, compliments, thank you cards and parliamentary questions on the database. I visited the microbiology, histology, biochemistry and hematology labs for a few hours each lab to get a taste of what they do and how it is important. Because I didn't have a degree, they couldn't let me do any work in those labs, as that is customary in Ireland.
Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience
My communication skills have improved since working at Our Lady's. I had to voice what I would prefer to do in my internship to my supervisors and they tried their best to accommodate. I also spent some time around families of patients, so I got to opportunity to talk to them which made me think twice about my words based off their situations. I could empathize with the children better after seeing and talking to their parents and doctors. I've also improved my organization skills, dealing with keeping patient charts organized and up to date. I also got to observe laboratories which made me appreciate where all of the tests (blood, urine, etc) go after their taken from patients and how they're processed. Watching a cardiac cath was very interesting also. It made patients seem a lot more real than anything on TV does and I gained a new appreciation for the patience of doctors and nurses.
Favorite Part of the Experience
My favorite part of this internship was supervising the play room in the oncology ward. I got to see kids play and help them have some fun, as well as talk to their parents about how they're handling everything and try to brighten their day. Surprisingly, most parents were extremely positive that I got the opportunity to talk to, which was extremely refreshing to witness.
How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals
I now know that I want a career with patient contact and a chance to actually get to know my patients as much as possible. It's going to take a lot of hard work to become a Physician Assistant but that is my ultimate goal as of now.