Learning to Fly

September 16, 2012

I apologize in advance that there are a few capitalized phrases.  Rest, assured that I am not yelling at you.

Hi there!  You MUST be wondering where I have been.  For a moment, I was trying to reach a crazy goal: Write 100 blog posts by Labor Day.  I never actually thought it was possible, and now I’m happy to announce that I have…REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS.  I did not meet my goal.  Oh well.

What I have been doing is A LOT OF LEARNING.

A few months ago, I was approached by a colleague about taking on an intern. I am never one to turn down opportunities, and I have enjoyed supervising students for several years, so I said “sure!?” not knowing exactly where, when, or how this was all going to happen.  A couple of weeks later, the same colleague called me and asked if I could take another intern?  Sure! Why not.  I asked my problem-solver unit manager at the geri-psych unit how she would feel about interns, and after the enthusiastic response, I had a better idea of what I was in for.  This woman is a huge advocate of MT and is the reason I have most of the jobs I have.  She has also been trying, for some time, to find a way to provide music therapy, hospital-wide.  This was it.

So here I was a few months ago, ignorantly blissful and assuming this was not going to be hard.  I was wrong.  This is hard.

Here is what I’ve learned:

1. Bureaucracies are very difficult to work with.

2. These things take a lot of time (but if you have a person on your side who gets things done, it is a little speedier).

3.  In order to do an internship in a hospital, one needs to get immunizations, have contracts signed, do orientation, do criminal record checks, have liability insurance, have contracts signed, do orientation, have contracts signed…Have I mentioned that contracts are somewhat important?

4. The internship director (me) has to do a lot of preparation to make everything happen.

5. Funding doesn’t grow on trees, but if you can get paid to supervise somehow, it’s better.  if not, you adjust what you had planned.

6. Relinquishing some control is very important, though not easy.

7. Sometimes plans change – go with it.  And don’t cry.

8. In my case, applying to have a National Roster internship (and getting approved) will make things a lot easier next time.

9.  Asking for help is okay.

10. Being organized is key.

I will be applying for National Roster status shortly, and I was happy to notice that I meet the criteria! In the meantime, my interns start tomorrow, and I am thrilled to be starting this program!!

Wish us luck!

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2 Responses to “Learning to Fly”

  1. Wow! What an adventure you’re about to go on!

    Thank you for sharing your initial experience of developing an internship program and taking on interns. This is something that I’ve recently been thinking about in regard to the hospice company where I work, so I hope you’re willing (and able) to share your process along the way.

  2. Way to go! I am so proud of you, and hopefully I will be in the same stressful position in the future!

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