Please note: This article is transcribed via AI from our Healthcare Facilities Network video titled “Five keys to Internship success in healthcare facilities.” Watch the video of this transcription here.

One of the goals here at the Healthcare Facilities Network is to promote the career opportunities of healthcare facilities management. We record many longer form conversations on the Network, and I know that sometimes it’s hard to watch an entire episode. So what we’ve done in this particular piece, we’ve talked a lot about internships through numerous episodes on the Healthcare Facilities Network. And so what I wanted to do, and I’m going to share it with you now, the top things we’ve learned about internships through the course of our episodes. So with that, I present five things we learned for internship success.  

5 success factors

1. College professors aren’t talking to their students about HCFM careers. Students don’t know the role exists. We (the collective industry) need to promote internship opportunities.

2. Start early. The earlier you bring college interns in, the more apt they are to stay with you post-graduation.  “Knowing what goes on makes it easier to stick with it.”

3. The hiring process will go long and it will take time to onboard interns – start early so you don’t lose the summer. And be prepared to pay them a competitive salary.

4. Make them a per diem employee when the summer ends, it will be easier to bring them back the next year (assuming you want them back).

5. Once they get experience in the role, they enjoy it and view it as a potential career – a career they had no idea existed. Be flexible and show them the totality of the facility’s role, don’t pigeonhole them in just one area.

Bonus: They will tell college friends about their experience and your network expands 10-fold!

Now you can read the screen, I do not need to read it for you. But a couple of things I want to point out, we’ve done two episodes with a healthcare facilities management intern with a Junior to-be Aidan Cornell, you can find everything I talked about, actually on the next slide where I linked to these episodes on the Healthcare Facilities Network. But Aiden in we did a post-mortem episode with him, I thought he said something, which was really insightful and simple. And we have it there. Number two, he said to me, knowing what goes on makes it easier to stick with it, meaning you’re getting the opportunity, I see what goes on easier to stick with it. 

So on this slide, just a couple of things to point out number one, college professors aren’t talking to their students about these roles. So that means we as the collective industry need to push the internships because if we don’t, nobody else will. 

Number two, and in talking to our folks at the mass Maritime Academy, healthcare needs to be prepared to pay a competitive salary for these interns. Health care, hospitals lose interns, because they are not willing to pay what is competitive, we want to fill that pipeline with younger kids, then we’ve got to bring them in at a competitive salary. And then I think the third thing is a diversity of experience. I’ve heard of some interns who come into an organization, and they may only be on compliance documentation, Joint Commission documentation, and well, that’s very important. Providing them a global view of the opportunity works better. 

And the last thing and probably the most important, and it’s the bonus down at the bottom, for every one intern you bring in, they’re going to go back to their college, and they’re gonna tell 10 to 15 of their friends about their experiences. Aidan talked about it in the episode we just did. Ryan Gagnon talked about it and an episode we did. If you bring them in early, they become the best mouthpiece for this role better than anything we can do. Because they’re going to go back to their colleges, they’re going to go back to their universities, and they’re going to talk about the great experiences that they had.

Additional resources

So I wanted to provide those five things, you know, and as I was putting it together, I’m thinking to myself, there’s not a there’s not a bombshell on here, right? So often we think of we try to come up or maybe we think a little bit more complex than we need to. These five things are very simple. We can all do them. So there’s no bombshell here, but it’s kind of like in baseball, you know, often somebody’s looking to hit the Grand Slam. When if you just put singles, singles, singles and maybe an occasional double, you’ll score runs two. That’s what this approach is. Thanks for watching. I hope you found this informative. So you can find additional learning on the healthcare facilities network, we’ve done a number of intern stories.