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Have you ever thought on the full benefits of internship programs for medical health students? What would happen if medical organizations were not willing to offer training opportunities? A friend from California gets hands-on training at a nearby hospital. By the end of this month, he will complete a 22-month internship program and will have completed 1850 clinical hours as required before certification. He will get his license and be able to get employed as a radiologic technologist. All this period, he did not pay for the training nor did he get paid. Well, this could change if the clinics and hospitals are required to pay the allied health students for their clinical hours. If the hospitals are required to pay the trainees, they might be unwilling to provide such opportunities to many students and hence affect the career development of many students negatively. One of the people who could miss out on the internship opportunities could be someone close to you. Allied health students should not be paid to enable the health organizations to offer training opportunities to many students. I would like to take this opportunity to talk about the need for internship opportunities for and why allied health students should not be paid for their clinical hours. Let me begin with the benefits of clinical attachments for the students.
For an allied health professional to be licensed and be employed, he or she needs to complete up to 1850 clinical hours. This is a requirement by the medical regulations. The field of health sciences is critical and hence it is regulated. The health workers are supposed to meet all the qualifications demanded by the law for them to be licensed. For the allied health students, they must complete the given number of practical hours for the licenses to be issued (Sandmire & Boyce, 2004). Such a lengthy induction period is aimed to ensure that graduates get adequate training and experience that would enable them transit to practical jobs with ease. As it is now, such opportunities are provided by the established medical organizations. Many allied health students have followed this path and have successful careers. Therefore, internship programs are very important to allied health students.
According to Sandmire and Boyce (2004), allied health workers need highly specialized training for them to become professionals. This specialized practical training is only available in hospitals and clinics. This is because, in such institutions, there are adequate equipment and skilled professionals to guide the learners. The internship programs offer allied health professional with an opportunity to acquire the needed experience and skills. In other words, the allied health students get hands-on training. They have the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom in real cases. Such a transition requires the guidance of professionals. Therefore, allied health learners need to work closely with qualified professionals for them to gain professional experience.
As can be seen, internship programs serve a great purpose for allied health students. For any allied health student to be a professional, they should be given a chance in any medical facility to be guided and trained. This is only possible if the health organizations are willing to give such students opportunities. Requiring the allied health students for their clinical hours would make hospitals unwilling to offer internship programs. This form of payment introduces a new expense to the institutions. According to the California Hospital Association, paying the allied health students will introduce an estimated minimum of $1.5 million for the small healthcare facilities. Large hospitals that offer more than 300 allied health trainees with internship could incur almost $36 million annually (Gorman, 2017). The minimum wage in states like California is $10.50 for an hour. Considering the thousands of students working in different hospitals and clinics, the cost of hiring them is high. This would make hospitals unwilling to offer such trainees with opportunities as they would not be able to meet the cost (Gorman, 2017). This would be a disadvantage to learners. With no internship opportunities, allied health students would not meet the required 1800 clinical hours. This implies that they would not get licenses and hence fail to transit into professionals. This would kill the dreams of many students. Therefore, allied health trainees should not be paid.
It follows that internship programs are crucial for the career development of allied health students and such trainees should not be paid to enable health institutions to offer more opportunities. I have highlighted the importance and the need of the internship program to the allied health graduates. Proposing salaries to these trainees will deny others internship opportunities in the future. Hospitals and clinics will not be willing to train students in the future. It is clear that the students benefit from the internships more than they help the institutions. How would you feel when you or a person you know was denied a professional license because did not complete the required an internship? Please let the allied health students not be paid and have opportunities to develop their skills.
Gorman, A. (2017). Should health care trainees be treated as paid employees? California Healthline. Retrieved from https://californiahealthline.org/news/should-health-care- trainees-be-treated-as-paid-employees/
Sandmire, D. A., & Boyce, P. F. (2004). Pairing of opposite learning styles among allied health students: effects on collaborative performance. Journal of Allied Health, 33(2), 156-163.
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