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Excelling in the Externship: A Preparation Guide for Medical Assisting and Allied Health, CourseSmart eTextbook

By Kimberly Halverson-Bender

Published by Prentice Hall

Published Date: Jan 27, 2009

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Excelling in the Externship is organized logically and presented in a portfolio format for easy student use.  It begins by introducing the purpose and value of the externship. It then explains the expectations of the student in an externship, starting with the interview. Appropriate attitudes, etiquette, and the development of working professional relationships are discussed, as well as clarification on how students should follow instructions and engage in proactive learning. The next section discusses the benefits of externship completion, including externship evaluations and grades. Real-life case studies are presented. The final chapter covers beginning the job search for allied health careers.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: The Link Between Your Classroom Education & New Career                    

            The Importance of Your Externship

                        The Big Transition: Student to Professional

                        What Is Meant By “Externship”?          

            Applying Your Skills and Knowledge

                Professionalism: The Highest Calling

                Becoming Part of the Healthcare Team

                Gaining Experience with Legal and Ethical Considerations

                Organization and Time Management Applications


Chapter 2: Meeting and Exceeding the Expectations                                                     

            Extern’s Responsibilities to Two Parties

                        Expectations of the College/School and Faculty

                                    Health Documentation Requirements    

                                    Student Liability Coverage

                                    Career Services Department Requirements

                                    Timesheet / Record of Externship Hours Submission

                                    Your Effort

                                    Other Miscellaneous Responsibilities

                        Expectations of the Externship Site Staff/Trainers

                                    Punctuality and Effective Communication

                                    Proactive Learning

                                    Adaptability in the Workplace

                                    Willingness to Cross Train

                    Recognizing Protective Measures for Healthcare Workers

                    Going Above and Beyond        

                                Join a Professional Organization as a Student Member

                                Prepare Early for Registration/Certification in Your Profession


Chapter 3: Externship Interviews                                                                                  

            Externship Interview Requests

            Proactive Measures for Externship Interviews

                        Researching your Site Beforehand


                        Application Forms

                        Professional Appearance and Presentation

                        Discussing Your Availability and Scheduling ahead of Time

            Going Above & Beyond


Chapter 4: Attitudes and Perceptions                                                                           

            Attitude and the Allied Health Externship

            Recognizing the Human Nature of Perceptions and Attitudes

                        Defining Perceptions and Attitudes

            Changing Detrimental Perceptions and Attitudes

                        Detrimental Perception #1

                        Detrimental Perception #2

                        Detrimental Perception #3

                        Detrimental Perception #4

                        Detrimental Perception #5

            The Right Attitudes: Those that Promote Productivity and Success

                        Genuine Caring for Others

                        Commitment to Serve Others

                        Using Your Good Manners

                        Showing Enthusiasm

            Developing Perceptions and Attitudes at the Externship Site


Chapter 5: Etiquette: Your Professional Mannerisms                                         

                        The Significance of Etiquette

Aspects of Etiquette that Matter in Allied Health Professionalism & Externships

                        Posture and its Reflections

                        Fine-tune Your Verbal Mannerisms

                        Pay Attention to Your Wording

                        Distracting Behaviors to Avoid


Chapter 6: Developing Professional Relationships at your Externship Site                                              

                    Aspects of Building Professional Relationships during the Externship

                        Functioning as a Team Member

                        Proactively Building Interpersonal Relationships

                        Effectively Communicating

                        Verbal Communication

                        Non-Verbal Communication

                        Written Communication



                        Issues of Conflict and Conflict Resolution

                        Overcoming Personality Clashes


Chapter 7: Fulfilling the “Student” Role at your Externship Site                          

                    Preparing to Fulfill Your “Student” Responsibilities at Your Externship Site

                    Engaging in Your Externship Work and the Benefits of Doing So

                        How to Engage in Your Work at the Externship Site

                                    Ask Questions

                                    Take Notes and/or Maintain a Journal

                                    Be Present

                                    Ask for Feedback

                    Offer Help in Other Areas of the Facility or Office During Temporary Slow Times

                    Take Initiative and Assume Responsibility

                    Drawbacks of Disengagement During Your Externship Experience

                    How Do I Know if I Am Fully Engaged in my Learning Experience?

                    Acting as a Responsible Student throughout the Externship Phase

                    Maintaining Necessary Contact with Your School/College & Submitting Timesheets

                        Maintaining an Academic Mindset

                        Following Proper Protocol for Absences and Tardiness


Chapter 8: Benefits of Successful Externship Completion                                              

                    Your Grand Entrance into the Field of Healthcare

                    The Big Benefits

                        Refining Your Skills

                        Career Launch Opportunities

                        Industry Networking

                        Field Experience to Enhance Your Marketability

                        Professional Reference & Letter of Recommendation

                        Final Touches


Chapter 9: Performance Evaluation and Your Grade                                                     

                    The Meaning of Your Performance Evaluation

                    Evaluation Basics

                        Medical Assisting Skills Evaluation: Sample

                         Professionalism/Career Development & Readiness

                         Administrative Competencies

                         Medical Assistant (M.A.) Practical/Clinical Competencies

                        Medical Administrative / Office Skills Evaluation: Sample

                                    Medical Administrative Assistant (M.A.A) Practical Skills

                   Indications Provided to the Student by Evaluation Results

                   Other Common Externship Course Completion Requirements

                        Journal of the Externship Experience

                        Projects and Written Reports

                                    Top Categories for Written Projects or Reports

                        Student Evaluation of the Externship Experience



Chapter 10: Allied Health Externship Case Studies

            Preliminary Information

                        Case Study # 1                                                                        

                        Case Study # 2

                        Case Study # 3

                        Case Study # 4

                        Case Study # 5

                        Case Study # 6


Chapter 11: Beyond Externship: Beginning Your Job Search                             

            A Process with Many Parts

            Becoming Familiar with the Local Job Market


                        Choosing an Appropriate Resume Format

                                    The Chronological Resume

                                    The Functional Resume

                                    The Combination Resume

                                    The Entry-Level Resume

                        Relevant Allied Health Information to Include in the Resume

                        Recommendations for Resume Formatting and Writing Technique

                                    Formatting Necessities

                                    Writing Necessities

                        Finalizing the Resume

                        The Cover Letter

                        The Waiting Period

                        The Interview

                        Dressing for the Interview

                        Etiquette for the Interview

            The Thank You Letter

Appendix: Resources                                                                                                               


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Excelling in the Externship: A Preparation Guide for Medical Assisting and Allied Health, CourseSmart eTextbook
Format: Safari Book

$23.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-13-506076-6