A key aspect of the Health Care Administration (HCA) department’s curriculum is the HCA Internship. During the final year of the traditional master’s program, students are required to take the internship course (HCA 580) and complete at least 120 hours at a local healthcare delivery organization. The bachelor’s program requires a two-course series (HCA 480 and 481) of at least 240 hours at a field site. At these sites, students will apply their classroom knowledge of business tools in the healthcare environment, and learn from experienced internship preceptors how to solve problems in “real world” situations.
Students have the options to get placement in over three-hundred approved sites in nineteen different types of organizations and over twenty-five different departments within the organizations. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of special projects and processes related to health care delivery. These include individual projects as well as being part of multidisciplinary teams.
Students also attend about twenty hours of classroom lectures to help prepare them to join a professional office workforce and learn how to manage the business of medicine. A favorite activity is case studies where students bring actual problems from their internship site for classroom discussion, analysis, and possible solutions. Lectures will also cover how to effectively interview and network for finding a meaningful job in healthcare.
During the entire internship period, students are guided by knowledgeable HCA internship instructors, who work closely with the students and preceptors. Monthly reviews are made of the student’s work, special projects accomplished, new skills being developed and a description of the work contributions being made in the host organization.
The internship experience helps the student crystalize their future job focus, the related skills they are developing and the selection of the type projects they will complete during that internship. Students complete these internships with an improved sense of confidence and job focus, are better able to communicate successfully both verbally and in writing, and how to readily engage with their future employers and staff.
HCA Department Chair