Friday, April 20, 2012

PHN Summer Intership - Offered and Declined

Some of you may have read in an earlier posting that I was not chosen for a summer internship through the local hospital here in town…bummer!  In that same post I mentioned the opportunity I had to apply for an internship with Public Health Nursing (PHN).  I figured what the heck; this could possibly be a great chance to get my foot in the door and see another side to nursing. 

After an awesome application/essay submitted by yours truly and a few weeks of waiting.  I was offered the slot of Nursing Intern for one of the nearby public health county offices close to where I live.  The offer included a schedule of M-F 0800-1630 for 8 weeks.  The director of the office gave me the break-down of the job duties:  55% strategic planning, 35% beach and well water testing, and 10% job shadowing. 

Here is a description of the job:  With accreditation as a front-burner opportunity within many health departments, the       County Health Department has realized a need to begin the initial step of preparing a comprehensive strategic plan. Under the general direction of the Director and guidance of our Lead Public Health Nurse, this intern will work side by side and, as appropriate, be given a lead role in helping to prepare our plan outline in collaboration with other health department team members and governing board members. Primary objectives will involve: outreaching to other health departments to secure example strategic plan templates, organizing key stakeholders and/or partner organizations, identifying priorities, developing a draft plan outline. As well, it is anticipated that this intern will help with beach and transient non-community well water testing. On an as needed bases, the intern will be given opportunity to craft press releases to raise public awareness and/or work with facilities when well water samples exceed "safe" thresholds. The intern will shadow our Public Health Aide and/or Public Health Nurse and, if skill set allows, be allowed to pull samples by him/herself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled as pie to even be considered for this summer internship, but I was a little hesitant as well.  So far all of my time spent in school learning as well as my patient care during clinical has been rooting me in a foundation of floor nursing.  I had a hard time accepting the idea that majority of the time spent in this position would be dealing with paperwork creating a strategic plan.  The job duties state that 10% of my time will be job shadowing, I’ve bolded within the description what that includes.  If you’re following me, that means that my clinical hands-on time with patients would only be 10% of my entire time this summer and that just didn’t sit well for me and I’ll tell you why. 

Before I decided to become a nurse I did office work for many years.  I’m not interested in doing that any time soon.  I've spent the past 2.5 semesters learning how to touch patients and help make them better through my knowledge and ever-sharpening skills.  After having a few long in-depth talks with my hubby I came to the conclusion that PHN isn’t the route for me at this time in my career.  So unapologetically I declined the offer.  Now I know you all must be wondering: WHY DID I APPLY IN THE FIRST PLACE, if I didn’t think this is where I wanted to be. 

Honestly I think I just wanted to be wanted.  I didn’t think so much as my future, nor did I think I would even be extended an offer.  I just wanted what my classmates had and that was a facility that wanted them for a summer internship.  After much prayer I decided that wasn’t a good enough reason to hold someone else from a PHN slot they much rather wanted.

However stay tuned because, when God shuts one door another door opens, and boy did another door open wide for me that I’ll write in another posting soon.


  1. Good for you. I'm glad you decided not to accept that job. Like you I've spent many years behind the desk and I don't really ever see myself doing that again and that job just plain sounded stinky. So, good for you and you are so right, God has something better for you waiting just around the corner and you took that step of faith by turning down this offer to wait on something better from Him. Can't wait to hear what that is :)

  2. Honestly that does not sound like you would be doing any related nursing in that position. I see stuff envelopes and making photo copies.

  3. Sometimes you have to apply, just to prove to yourself that you can do it. I think you made the right choice, though. Even before getting to your explanation, I was thinking, "Wow, this doesn't sound like a very clinical position." I know that God will definitely provide another opportunity to you that's more geared to what you want to do.

  4. Candi - Thank you for reminding me that God has something better in store because I really think he does. I promise to update on my news in a blog post by Friday for sure.

    Christine - I agree, my hubby and I couldn't decide if I really was going to be offered a job after graduation or if I would have been needed just for summer help.

    Red - Thanks, like I said I just felt the need to be wanted. The only clinical part of my job would probably have been administering vaccinations to the community especially the heavily populated Amish community.