Pediatric Trauma Society

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Student Internship Experience at a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Program
Leslie Rideout, PhD, FNP1; Walter J. Chwals, MD, FACS, FCCM, FAAP1; Carl-Christian A. Jackson, MD, FACS1; Anne Keliher, MMHS2; Ji Chen, PA-C1; Artur Chernoguz, MD1
1Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA; 2Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute/Floating Hosptial for Children/Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

Background- The purpose of this study is to: 1. assess students' perceptions of the student internship experience and the impact this experience may have had on his/her academic and career goals. 2. improve processes for the student internship experience.The student internship program at this level 1 pediatric trauma center began in 2002. More than 30 high school, college, and medical school students have participated in research studies, completed injury prevention projects, written manuscripts on trauma related topics, and managed administrative tasks for the trauma center. Internship programs such as a nursing student work-study internship program in N. California addressed the education-to-practice gap for the nurses. A volunteer research assistant program in one tertiary care pediatric ED enabled 88.9% of the participants to obtain school/research positions.

Methods: A survey was developed in the web-based software program, REDCap and distributed to past student interns. The qualitative data was reviewed to assess the student's perception of their experience and identify opportunities for improving the internship experience.

Results: Survey participants responded that their internship experience and the reference letter provided on their behalf were significant for their academic and career goals. Many past students currently have careers in the healthcare field as physicians, surgeons and nurses. A suggestion for enhancing the internship experience is more opportunities for clinical research.

Conclusion- A student internship program not only provides extra resources for work productivity, but in turn provides the students with experiences that foster and promote their academic and career goals in the healthcare field.

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