Ready for some perspective? The harsh reality is that, for students, applying to practicum and internship is your entire world for a while. You eat, sleep, and breath applications, theory and interview prep. It consumes you.
For hospital sites, reviewing applications, interviewing and supervising students are all just a part of the long list of administrative tasks they have to fit in between patients. The stark contrast in these experiences can lead to a lot of communication and relationship challenges between hospitals and students.
You may be wondering, where do I, as a student, fit into all of this?
When it comes to hospital communication it can be challenging. You need to know about the requirements of a site, whether you will need to prep for an interview or cross them off your list, or if they are even offering an educational experience. And don’t even get us started on child life websites!
6 Important things to know:
- Hospitals have very little to no control over when the website gets updated. There are legal and marketing hoops and then actually getting IT to make the changes you submit. It can take months. Some hospitals aren’t even allowed to post PDF’s or application links on their sites.
- Any time a CCLS takes time to respond to your email or phone call is time that is not spent with a patient. Everyone’s time is valuable, including yours. So keep that in mind when waiting for hospitals to respond.
- Due to schedules, some CCLS’ may not be in the office for days at a time. If they work 12-hour shifts or evenings, it’s possible they are off multiple days throughout the week. This can be a challenge when it comes to responding quickly to student inquiries.
- If you want feedback, wait to ask until after offer day. I can guarantee you won’t care about that feedback if you get an offer from another hospital! Save everyone some time by waiting until after day to reach out.
- Will a hospital actually give me feedback? Some hospitals will give you generic feedback. Some may be able to provide great detail. Some won’t respond at all. Some teams just don’t have the bandwidth to individually respond to every request for feedback that comes through.
- Send a thank you. If someone provides feedback to you, thank them. If someone takes the time to interview you, thank them. This is a great professional practice to start now and continue on into your career. This goes for all people, not just child life professionals!
Navigating the challenges of communication will always be a present theme in your life, regardless of where you work. It is important to consider another’s perspective, be respectful of everyone’s time, and remember to show everybody a little patience. Most of the time, we are all just trying to do our best.