June 28, 1998
June 28, 1998
July 1, 1998
3.368.1 - 3.368.4
Internship Experiences in Biomedical Engineering Technology: An Overview of Students and Prospective Employers Perceptions Albert Lozano-Nieto, Ph.D. Penn State University. Commonwealth College, SETCE Wilkes-Barre Campus P.O. Box PSU. Lehman, PA 18627 Phone: (717) 675-9245. FAX: (717) 675-7713 email: AXL17@psu.edu
Students pursuing an Associates Degree in Biomedical Engineering Technology at Penn State University are required to complete a 400-hour internship in an approved health care facility before graduation. This paper analyzes how the students perceive the need to be involved in the internship, including its effect on their professional development as well as on their ability to perform the tasks associated with their responsibilities. The students were asked to describe and summarize their experiences in the workplace in a daily log, to write a formal report describing in detail a project that they undertook and provide a comprehensive description of their experience. The effect of working in a Clinical Engineering department before graduation strongly increased the students’ confidence in their strengths and made them aware of those items that required further attention and development. A very positive outcome from the cooperative experience was the full employment of all the students involved in the program, in the places where they carried out their internships or through contacts developed at that time. The paper also analyzes the results of a survey given to the students' supervisors. They were asked to describe and evaluate the qualities most needed in entry level biomedical engineering technicians, and how these qualities changed during the internship period for the students that they supervised. All the clinical engineering supervisors stressed the positive effects of the internship experience in creating qualified professionals in the field at the service of the society.
In today's competitive market, in particular in Engineering and Engineering Technology, actual industry experience is greatly appreciated not only by future employers, but also by the students. Employers feel more comfortable with future employees that have some experience before graduating from college, and have acquired a basic knowledge on how their specific industry works (Lessard, 1996). Students recognize that the lectures and laboratory experiences delivered while in college are necessary to learn the basic and theoretical principles for a given subject. However, they also recognize that due to the limitations of the campus infrastructure, they cannot reproduce as much as would be desirable, the actual industry settings. This is especially true in Biomedical Engineering Technology, as the teaching laboratories on campus cannot have large pieces of medical equipment such as X-Rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Operating Rooms, etc., for the students to develop their skills on their repair and maintenance.
Lozano-Nieto, A. (1998, June), Internship Experiences In Biomedical Engineering Technology: An Overview Of Students And Prospective Employers Perceptions Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7235
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