Clinical Externship (HES 310) and Clinical Internship (HES 311)
Although no clinical experiences are required for the HES major, students may choose to participate in these for academic credit or as a volunteer. HES 310 provides academic credit for qualified clinical externships. An externship requires the student to garner experiences in a health area related to their chosen profession of interest by working with a mentor outside of the HES department. An internship differs in that the student is mentored by faculty within the HES department, such as part of a clinical research project or the community outreach program, HELPS. In order to receive academic credit for either 310 or 311, students must get their planned experience approved prior to registering for the class by Dr. Beavers. Students must complete 90 hours of experience in the semester (or summer term), submit a log of hours worked, and write a 4-5 page paper on the experiences. Each course may only be taken one time for 2.0 credit hours and a pass/fail grade.
In addition to receiving academic credit, an externship or internship or work can be a valuable experience and is frequently necessary for application to many professional and graduate programs. For example, application to many Physician Assistant programs require 1000-2000 hours of clinical work. Other programs such as in Physical Therapy highly recommend garnering experiences in a variety of Physical Therapy environments. Therefore, it is highly encouraged to participate in an internship or work position during your undergraduate career at Wake Forest University.
There are many opportunities for HES 310 clinical externships around the Winston-Salem area, including working/observing at the Wake Forest University Medical Center/Baptist Hospital, Forsyth Hospital, and at various clinics throughout the region for an internship or paid position. This may include internships in medical clinics, working with physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, and other allied health professionals. Working as a student trainer may qualify as an experience. In addition, employment at the corporate level in the fitness setting or in health education and public health fields may provide valuable insight into career direction. You may also find it helpful and necessary to work during the summer outside of the Wake Forest University area in order to accumulate the necessary experience.
For HES 311 clinical internships, you may contact the professors to inquire about these opportunities. The HELPS community outreach program run by the HES department is another viable option. Contact Dr. Kristen Beavers for information on this program.