Practicum Open House Gives Students a Head Start

Health Care Administration Students Benefit from Career Fair

By Katie Austad, Andrew Cooan, MaCall Douglas, Konrad van Baalen

Health care administration students were able to get a jumpstart on planning their practicum experience thanks to an open house at the Center for Health and Aging Services Excellence (CHASE) annual spring banquet. The event which was held April 2, 2009 at the Plaza Hotel in Eau Claire, Wis, was designed to expose students to the practicum experience, a twelve month long internship program, required for obtaining a long-term care administrator licensure.

Students who were present at the banquet were also able to listen to Randy Lindner, president and CEO of the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB), give the keynote presentation on what it means to become a successful health care administrator. The night also allowed attendees to have dinner with fellow students and health care administrators from around the nation.

The practicum open house allowed students the chance to meet with health care administrators and CEOs from around the nation. Katie Herbert, a senior who will be entering the practicum this year, said that the open house “resembled a career fair, but the atmosphere was more relaxed and allowed a chance for students to casually talk to administrators of the program's practicum sites.” Students were able to speak with these employers, in which they were able to ask questions, receive information, and create networking relationships.

Health care facilities were represented by all levels of management, which allowed students the opportunity to interact with people with different career levels in the health care field. Jen Blasko, also a senior who will be entering the practicum program next year, said she enjoyed this aspect of the practicum open house, as she “is excited to learn how to work with people in different levels of the health care setting, and this was a good starting experience.”

Zach Haag, a senior who is currently taking part in the practicum program at Augustana Health Care Center in Minneapolis, Min, has advice for students who are embarking on their practicum experience. “Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Be afraid of not learning from them,” he said.

Katie AustadAndrew CooanMcCall DouglasKonrad van Baalen

From left to right: Katie Austad is a senior business administration major from Eau Claire, Wis; Andrew Cooan is a senior marketing major from New Prague, Min; MaCall Douglas is a senior marketing major from Reedsburg, Wis; Konrad van Baalen is a senior information systems and health care administration double major from Waukesha, Wis. They wrote this article for their advanced business communication course.

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