High School Interns in your work place?

  1. In the school I work in, we have a heavy emphasis on careers and as a result, many high school age students are placed as "career interns" and they are supposed to get a glimpse of medical careers, nursing careers etc. Are any of you seeing this in your communities? What do you see as the pros? Obviously people may have a better idea of the realities of what they are getting into. Others? Cons?

    One of the concerns we've had with even our own career interns following our own staff around is confidentiality. A career intern in my school last year was following a SRS social worker around and that SW made the judgement to take her into the room on a child sexual abuse interview at a school How would you feel about your teen child being exposed to this? How would you feel about a young child being asked to disclose this in front of a teen who may or may not understand WELL about confidentiality. You will be relieved to know that we all agreed that this was an inappropriate experience for a teen intern but their are a thousand shades of gray on this issue.

    Do any of you work in ED's that permit parolee's and the like to do their community service work in your ED? While I think that the ED could be great, I just think none of us have the time to do the supervision and the protection of the (teen) child's best interests while we take care of patients.

    Any thoughts on this one?
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    About MollyJ, MSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '99; Posts: 748; Likes: 68
    school nurse
    Specialty: 36 year(s) of experience


  3. by   debbyed
    We have quite a large core of voluntees in our hospital. The adults we have in the ER are all retired people who are great with patients and understand confidentuality. I trust them completely and life would be much more difficult without them.

    HOWEVER, during the summer (thankfully it's almost over) we get youth volunteers and I am very much against them in the ER. There have been one or two that have worked out very well that have gone on to become ERT's(Techs) and on to both nursing and medical school.

    But most have been immature teenagers looking for a little fun and excitement. They have no concept of confidentuality or respect for that matter. You hear them discussing who and what they have seen in the elevators, hallways and dinningroom, so you know sure as shooting they are talking about it to all their friends.

    This year I requested that the junior volunteers not be allowed in the ER. The administration thought I was crazy. Their answer was "They sign a confidentuality agreement" We are talking about kids 13-16, am I the only one who remembers just how responsible (NOT) I was at that age.

    They may be having second thoughts next year however. We found out one of these children didn't actually live with her parents. She really lived is a group home for troubled youth with a history of drug use and stealing. Gee, lets give her free roam in the ER. Nobody working can keep an eye on her, thats why she is in a group home. They're supposed to keep an Eye on her.

    And parolee's??? Nope, you don't even want me to go there!
  4. by   Harleyhead
    I work Med/Surg and we have a small number of interns. These kids are only here to fill their time. They stand or sit around waiting for someone to tell them what to do.They are very timid and very seldom asked questions or go into pts. rooms except to carry in a food tray. So in my experince these kids are not a problem.
  5. by   ADN 2002
    I am an ADN student in my 2nd year of school. Last semester was the first time I had contact with high school interns in the clinical setting. They are there, I suppose, to learn about a field they are interested in going into, but I found them to be a huge disadvantage to the hospital setting. There is just too much for them to get into, and they're not there long enough each day to become a functional part of the team (they're there maybe two hours). On the other hand, we are there twelve hours, and are assigned one patient each and we do their total care for the day. One day while the high school interns were there, we caught one of them giving water to an NPO patient scheduled for surgery, a patient assigned to one of the ADN students in my class. If they don't even know what NPO means (and it was on the pt's door), then they don't need to be actively involved in patient care.

    I guess what I am saying is if they took more of an observer role than an active participant (something they are not trained for) then it would be okay.