Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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July 31, 2007

Interns get hospital experience

Michael Rudy hesitated.

“Do I really have to do this?” he asked.

Seeing the look on his supervisor’s face he realized he didn’t have much of a choice. Rudy cast one more pleading glance before he reached for a urine filled container. Then he performed the drug screen test.

That was a year ago.

Rudy chuckled as he recalled his initial reaction.

“Once you do it a couple times, it’s okay,” he said.

Rudy, 22, found it was a small price to pay for the coveted internship spot he landed at St. Joseph Hospital. Of nearly 40 applicants, only 10 are chosen each summer.

The 12-week long internship offers college credit and pays $10 an hour. Interns must be residents of Howard County or the surrounding area and currently pursuing a degree in a health-care field. Interns work a total of 400 hours between May and August.

Rudy, a psychology student at Purdue, earned an internship in the Behavioral Services Department of the hospital the past two years. As an intern, Rudy has observed adult and adolescent therapy sessions focusing on depression and chemical dependency, dealt with insurance agencies, given lectures, reviewed charts and filed paperwork.

“It’s obviously a great experience that most undergraduates don’t even get,” Rudy said.

“This is a great tool for us to expose students to a future career within the hospital,” said Marla Achor, the hospital marketing and communications coordinator. “It gives them the opportunity to see what this career entails before they actually get in the real world profession.”

This is the second year for the summer internship program, Achor said. “It’s a win-win situation, not only for students but for St. Joseph Hospital as well.”

Howard Regional Health System also offers several internships for students, specifically clinicals. Most are unpaid, said Barbara Tucker, professional development education coordinator.

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