A common question we get from medical assisting students is, “How can I turn my Medical Assistant Externship into a job?”
Although the main purpose of your externship is for education and experience, it is smart to be thinking about working full-time afterward if you are happy at the clinic you extern with.
Also, employers offering externships are doing so as a part of their recruiting process to find new full-time employees.
So, grab a cup of coffee and read some advice from a Medical Assisting program director who helps students find jobs after completing their externships.
Getting Hired After a Medical Assisting Externship
If you are interested in turning your externship into a full-time job after graduation, there are some specific techniques you can use to increase your chances of getting hired.
Many employers who offer externships do so as a way to try out and recruit new full-time employees.
Although externships are a way for Medical Assisting students to gain knowledge and experience working in their field; externships are just as much a way for employers to test individual’s potential and determine how well suited they are with the organization’s overall culture.
Almost all employers utilize externship programs as a part of their hiring process. It offers them an opportunity to test out new employees while saving money on their recruiting efforts. They prefer to learn how you will perform during your externship BEFORE extending a full-time offer.
Tips for Turning an Externship Into a Job
Below are tips for turning your externship into a full-time job offer.
By following these guidelines, you will perform great during your externship and even if you don’t receive a job offer then you should at least gain a positive reference that will help you find one.
- Make a Good First Impression
Meet with everyone (administratively and clinically) and learn who is who. Make sure you take the initiative to introduce yourself and exhibit a positive and friendly attitude to everyone you meet. The more people that know you the better your chances are of becoming a part of their team. Making a good first impression will go a long way, so even if you only get to meet some folks one time try your best to make it a good introduction.
- Research Employers
Learn all that you can about the company you will extern with and the healthcare segment they serve. Your College is a great place to start as most have relationships already established with externships. You can also reach the company online as well. The more you know about the company and can share during your externship, the more interested you will seem and the more you will fit in with the company’s culture.
- Keep Yourself Busy
Set an agenda for the day and keep busy. There is always something needing to be done to improve the quality of the day. Believe it or not, employers are watching your work ethic. Of course it is ok to take breaks from time to time, but if you lack productivity then you are not going to be a good candidate to be hired full-time.
- Continue Your Professional Knowledge & Education
Successful externs take the initiative to learn as much as possible during the short duration of their externship experience. Read Medical Assisting articles, Healthcare Field Related Articles, and Medical Journals so that you stay up to date with your industry and can have educated discussions with your co-workers.
- Be Open to Doing the Grunt Work
Learn everything from filing records to minor surgery. Day one, meet with your supervisor and review your goals and expectations of the externship. Remember there are menial tasks included in all jobs and pitching in and doing your share will show that you are a team player and multi-tasker. If you aren’t willing to work hard during your externship, then your employer won’t view you as a hard-working candidate for a full-time position.
- Always Ask Questions
Externship is off campus continued training but in a real healthcare setting. You are not expected to know everything so take this time to ask questions about everything you are not sure of. Employers have stated that the students who ask questions are the ones who they think are more motivated and really want to be part of the industry. The more questions you ask, the more interested you are perceived.
- Find a Mentor
Be a sponge and learn from those that you admire (which can lead to networking opportunities to further your career). Professionals enjoy sharing their knowledge and expertise; they want to help those who are just beginning in the field. Not only will you learn much from a mentor, they may be the person who ultimately recommends that you get hired after your externship. Mentors can be great teachers and also great references.
- Be Professional
Have a positive attitude, professional image (both inside and outside of the office), avoid politics, office gossip and make good use of your time. You should always come to work clean, dressed appropriately in clean clothing, awake and ready to work, and focused on the tasks at hand. Discussing personal issues, political issues, gossip, or anything crude at work will reflect negatively on you as a job candidate.
- Network & Build Relationships
Try to communicate with your co-workers in each department. Finding new ways to assist new people is a great way to show your value. Developing relationships is the key to a good start to your career, sometimes all a job offer takes is one employee recommending you. Networking will also help you to advance in the healthcare field.
- Stay Motivated & Keep in Touch!
Motivated students tend to rub off on each other and have a positive impact on the organization as a whole. Staying motivated throughout your externship will not go unnoticed, employers are much more likely to send an offer to someone who brings positive energy to their organization. After you finish your externship, stay in touch. Send a thank you letter to everyone that you worked with while on externship. Studies show that sending a thank you letter may also be the reason that secures the job.
Over to You
Well, there you have it. Solid advice for turning your medical assisting externship into a job.
This advice will help you perform your best during your externship which will make the experience great for you and your employer.
So, even if you don’t end up wanting a full-time job with your extern employer, you will gain a strong positive reference that can help you land another job of interest.
Are you currently performing your externship? Or getting ready to begin your externship? Tell us about your experience in the comments below or feel free to ask any questions 🙂