Monday, April 16, 2018

Getting Your Foot in the Door of Hospital Practice, part 3: Pack Your Trail Bag
keywords:  hospital practice, prospective hospital-practice integrative health practitioners, students of East Asian Medicine (acupuncture), integrative health students, shadowing health care practitioners, preparing for hospital practice, KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities) to develop, volunteering in hospital practice setting

This is the third in the blogpost series answering the question:
"How do I get my foot in the door of hospital practice?"
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Quick overview
  • First, make sure you have the basic requirements covered
  • Then, preparation.  
  • You must enrich your foundation, pack a trail bag, and find your trail guides.
  • Your first expeditions are to develop the basic stepping stones into successful hospital practice, shadowing and volunteering.  
  • These stepping stones are used throughout your hospital practice career to learn and grow.  So, become familiar with these stones and do not neglect how much easier they make crossing streams or rivers vs. wading in without a trail guide or path to follow.

Pack Your Trail Bag

Here we go!  You have your basic requirements for practice.  Now, you must enrich your foundations through experience and human connection.  
The analogy I use for this process is getting into the outdoors, packing your trail bag with the essential tools you will need, and finding trail guides to guide you along your various expeditions.  Because, like anyone adventuring into terrain unfamiliar to them, you will be most successful with supplies and experienced guides.  Plan multiple trips, because the weather is rarely perfect.  And, no matter the weather, every trip is a learning experience for you.  You will learn where your interests and skills may fit best. You will meet people (guides) along the way that you connect better with than others.  Every experience is an opportunity for learning.

Tools you need in your Trail Pack
So, pack your bag!  As you venture forth into these expeditions, whether it is the first one or the 100th, you will need:

·         A trail guide (at least one mentor)
·         A sense of curiosity balanced with respect while learning about a new culture
·        Capacity for caritas--generosity of volunteerism
·         Mindfulness of your limits, in practice scope, as well as personal limits
·       A sense of humility—you don’t know what and how much you don’t know
·       Grit and patience to stay the course
·       Love of learning to help you adapt to a changing world
·       Know or quickly learn the language of biomedicine

Tried and True Stepping Stones
The following are the two most tried and true stepping stones you need on any of your hikes/expeditions/paths to hospital practice:
·         Shadowing health care providers
·         Volunteering in the hospital setting

Take note!  
These stepping stones are needed, not just for your first expedition into hospital practice but for every expedition into this setting.  
I recommend building upon the stepping stones or crafting a set of specialized stepping stones (skill sets) as you grow in your hospital practice career. 
Maybe you find yourself specializing in the lowland hikes of pain management.  
Maybe you are drawn to the craggy heights with placid high-elevation lakes that is birth/mother-baby care or neonatal care.

These expeditions and stepping stones enrich your foundation.
As a gardener knows, you must enrich your foundation on a regular basis.  If not, the produce or shrubs lose their vibrancy and weaken over time.

copyright Megan Kingsley Gale.  all rights reserved.
Do not reproduce without author's written permission

Stay tuned for the next post, "Find Your Trail Guide".

Review the basic education and licensing requirements before applying for hospital-practice work.
Review the benefits of shadowing healthcare practitioners.

Today's resource recommendations

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