Yes, it all starts with attachment. One effective tool every student has is his ability to work in big firms through attachments. The exposure attachment grant students can never be learnt in school, bought or earned after school.
Health professionals are exposed to a lot of clinical practical during their school days but many do not make good use of them. It is there that many demonstrate their lackadaisical attitude, truancy, undisciplined-nature and ineffectiveness. Note that, as a fresh graduate, the only sets of experience you can present to your potential employer is the experience you gained from your attachment.
I remember immediately after school, the only sets of experience I had written on my CV were the clinical attachments I had and some teaching I did for a year after my SHS education. I bet you, it offered me some part-time teaching appointments in some healthcare assistant schools.
In many instances, I advise students to take extra attachments aside what their school provide them and also explore other areas aside what their school provide them. In most cases, employers assume the attachments offered by your school as part of your course module and thus done under compulsion and will prefer those who take extra attachments schedules. Not only does this give you an added advantage during the job search race, but it also offers you some level of skills as you explore other settings with sophisticated medical equipment.
One common mistake many health professionals do is that, they tend to do all their attachments focusing on only one area of their field. Most of their attachments schedules are done on the ward or in the clinical setting whereas there are several areas they can explore.
Most health related courses provide several career offers that the students can pursue after school. For instance aside the clinical setting, a nurse can work as a tutor, researcher, with NGO’s or local and international organisations such as WHO and UNICEF.
Have you ever thought of having an attachment with an educational institution that train students in your field or having an attachment with a research firm?
One can even take an attachment in a law firm if he wishes to take a specialization in medical law someday. All these institutions are your potential employers.
Also, one can engage in an exchange attachment in a different field aside his/her field. For instance a nurse can choose to take an attachment in a medical laboratory or X-ray departments whereas pharmacist can take a schedule on the ward. All these give you an added advantage over your colleagues.
One principle I would like to talk about when it comes to attachments is the principle of using ‘big fishes’ to catch the ‘small fishes’. It may be difficult to get the bigger firms to work in immediately after school however, with attachments; you may have the opportunity to do so. With a larger firm boldly written on your CV as a place you’ve had an attachment, the likelihood of getting a similar smaller firm is quite high.
The point is having their names appear on your CV confers some level of trust in you. Your ability to handle more complicated task and operate sophisticated medical instruments is much higher than the one who had his attachment in a smaller firm.
For attachments, you wouldn’t want to miss the added advantage, choose the bigger firms.
The writer is a Nurse, a Blogger and a Health and Career Coach. He has been a resource person at countless number of conferences and students platforms both on health and career developments. For Health or Career Counselling and Speaking Engagements, contacts (+233) 0505167698