One thing I wondered about all summer before starting the internship was whether or not I’d be able to have a life outside of the program. Well, I am happy to say that it seems that I may have as much, if not more, of a life than I had outside of undergrad. Definitely more of a life than when I was taking the hard sciences (i.e., biology, gen chem., o. chem , physics, genetics, herpetology, etc… yes, I do realize I went beyond the required but what can I say, I was confused about what I wanted to do).
As far as homework is concerned, I did have lots of work to do at home this past week, but that was because I was in a unique rotation. I’ll probably also have stuff to do at home during food service management, which I start tomorrow morning…, but it seems like there is less homework and more intense on-the-job work for the majority of the rotations. Talking to my fellow interns it sounds like they work hard to see as many patients as needed and have to be sure to complete their charts before leaving for the day. I didn’t hear anything about having additional assignments to complete at home yet. I’m sure some preceptors will ask us to look things up and report back to them or things like that, but that will depend on the situation. Later on in the program we will have projects to work on, like preparing to lead a journal discussion and working on a case study, but there’s nothing to do for those yet.
One thing we do have that is homework-like is our pre-rotation packets. Before beginning a rotation we are given a list of readings and a handout of questions to answer and terms to explain. These packets vary in length and difficulty depending on the rotation and the preceptor. For example, my pre-rotation packet for food service contained 12 math problems (food cost, yields, employee wages, etc), fewer than 20 terms to be familiar with and some reading from a ServSafe book. Basically it was just a brief review of things covered in our food safety and food service management classes. Keep your notes and text books people, they are great references and save time from searching through the library of books available at the hospital.
Like I said, these packets differ in difficulty. A couple of the interns started with cardiology and had to read a lot of journal articles and had a more intense handout. Again, I think I just need to lose all of my expectations so I’m not overwhelmed by any of these prep assignments.
So my point is I feel less stressed about the work load right now than last semester when I was juggling 17 units and a part time job that was stressful enough on its own. Not having exams to study/cram for helps. So far my weekends are pretty open and I’ve been able to socialize and catch up on my cleaning. I’ve already vacuumed and mopped more in the last 2 months than I did all of spring semester last year (oops!).
No classes tomorrow so I start food service management in the morning. I’m trying to think positive thoughts—food is fun, right?