There are several ways volunteering in a hospital can enhance your education. Having hands-on experience to supplement your course load will also ease the transition from student to employee. In the health care field, a variety of skills is needed to optimize career potential. This not only includes personal qualities such as empathy, compassion, and a desire to help others. Health care members need a combination of education and experience to assist them in seeing others reach their maximum potential.

Internships give valuable skills to students that can’t be obtained from a book. For example, being a proficient communicator, both orally and verbally, is imperative in this industry. Filling out patient charts and writing reports in real time using actual patients is much more conducive to learning. Also, verbally communicating confidential information with other medical staff comes with on-the-job training. Some of the most important communication an internship will provide is speaking with patients and their families. Establishing rapport and bedside manner will add to your knowledge base and competency.

As you work in your internship, it will provide the opportunity for you to meet other professionals in your chosen field. These could be valuable contacts for you during school and as you begin your career. They can offer you guidance with your education and help you navigate the health care system. During your internship, they will also be a valuable commodity. For example, if you are getting an online health information management degree, you may have contacts who can assist you with project management, data collection, and system applications. Most likely, this would be much more difficult to learn without the real world interaction an internship provides.

Your volunteer internship will be a valuable section on your resume. The time you spend freely serving others will pay off when you discuss it with potential employers. The advantage you gain over others without your experience can be what a hiring manager looks at to make the final decision. The contacts you acquire throughout your internship will also be able to verify your professional work ethic and experience.

An internship is one of the finest things a school can offer to a student. The opportunity for real-world interaction in their chosen field only solidifies the decision to continue one’s education. An internship is where an abundance of education occurs. You not only learn about your chosen field, but you learn a lot about others, and most importantly, about yourself.