5 FAQs About Externships

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The externship is one of the most important elements of Concorde's health care training. Perhaps THE most important. It takes the student out of the classroom and places them in a real-world, hands-on work environment. Students learn by performing actual clinical tasks that prepare them to hit the ground running once they launch into their careers. All students in most of Concorde's clinical programs are required to complete a pre-set total of hours at their externship sites. Many Concorde students are hired directly out of their externships by the extern site. Summing up, the externship is an invaluable part of Concorde's health care training experience. To give a better idea about what the Concorde externship experience really is like, we asked one of our externship coordinators, Susan Beheler, Externship Coordinator at Concorde's campus in San Antonio, for a list of the five most frequently asked questions students ask about externships as the externship experience as it relates to their health care training. Possible answers follow each question. Here is what Beheler came up with.

What do I say when I call my externship site?

Hello, my name is Susan Smith. I am a Dental Assistant student who will be going to externship on 1/1/2018. I would love to work with you during my externship to see what skills your office provides. Do you take externs, and is there an availability?

What are the site's expectations of me as a health care training student?

Attendance, communication, and professionalism are the cornerstones for success at your site. Hard skills can be tuned and taught, but if you don't have these three key soft skills, you will not succeed at your site.

What if I can't work the same hours as their employees or I need a scheduled day off?

Tell your potential site as soon as possible of your hours of availability or any needed days off before you begin. This gives the opportunity to plan out a training schedule and to evaluate if they can meet your time requirements.

Can I ask to be paid on externship?

No. You may not request pay while you are at externship. This is a required part of your education and, actually, you already paid for the externship.

What should I wear on externship? Do I have to cover up my tattoos and take out piercings?

All sites are different on their uniform protocols. You should ask the site before externship what they require. Some will want students to wear school uniforms and others won't want their patients to know that they have a student dental assistant. All tattoos and piercings should be hidden. Many sites and patients are conservative and do not feel comfortable with being treated by someone who has tattoos or piercings.
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Kontessa Brown
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Respiratory Therapy graduate