Achieving career success starts with an education. Quality career training requires a combination of classroom instruction and practical, hands-on learning opportunities. That’s where externships come in! At Porter and Chester Institute, we understand the importance that externship experience bring. Externship experience in the Medical Assisting and Dental Assisting programs has far reaching benefits for both the student and the employer. Linda Plecity, Clinical Nurse Specialist at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, oversees students who are training to become medical assistants. She says the staff loves having Porter and Chester students join the team and she receives “nothing but positive feedback.” Linda carefully selects externship students through a phone and in-person interview process. She says that the Porter and Chester students are always well prepared and she’s “never disappointed.” She meets with them regularly and makes herself available for questions or concerns. For the students, everything comes with a learning curve, but “nothing seems out of reach for them.” They always perform particularly well at phlebotomy, or drawing blood. The students “catch on very quickly” to new and even challenging tasks. They practice taking vital signs, perform EKGs (electrocardiogram), and work closely with recovering patients in the short stay program. The relationship between St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Porter and Chester Institute began when Linda needed recommendations for dental assistants. After speaking with several physicians, Porter and Chester kept coming up in conversation. She met with Lia Safalow, Regional Externship Coordinator at Rocky Hill, and took a tour of the campus. She was immediately “impressed by the quality of education and level of professionalism” that the Porter and Chester staff and students embody. In healthcare, a medical assistant position can vary greatly depending on where you work. Linda’s best advice is to remain professional at all times. When going for an interview, dress and act the part and ask questions. At Porter and Chester Institute, we understand the challenges that come with developing your career. Externships are an opportunity to build professional relationships that can have far reaching effects on your career. Hands-on experience in a real-world work environment allows you to network with other professionals, develop mentor relationships, and gain the practical skills you need to succeed.
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