James Madison University

Health 454/495: Guidelines for Journals and Internship Reports

Internship Journal Guidelines

The journal serves two purposes. First, it is a place to record events--what you did, saw, who you met, etc. Second, and more importantly, the journal is a place for you to reflect and comment on your daily experiences, observations, and reactions. From your faculty supervisor's standpoint, the latter is where we can see your development as a health professional and see if you are applying the conceptual material you have learned in class. Journaling is easiest if you do it at the end of each day, when events are fresh in your mind. Give yourself time to think.

The journal you hand in must be typed. The completed journal should summarize each week of your experiences. Daily entries in a word processor can make this more manageable.

Internship Report Guidelines

Your internship report should be a narrative which provides a summary of your internship experiences and, more importantly, provides a summary of the insights and professional growth you underwent during the internship.

Consistency in maintaining your diary will make writing the internship report easier. It will remind you of events and will provide specific examples that will be necessary to illustrate the points you make in your report. The reports should be approximately 8 typed, double-spaced pages long. Quality is more important than quantity; these should be of a professional level of quality similar to what you would turn into your supervisor at work.

Please include a copy of any major reports, educational materials, or other written "products" of your internship.

Part I

The initial section of the report should be a review of the objectives you and your field site supervisor established for the internship. For each objective you should address:

  • Was the objective achieved?
  • How did you achieve the objective?
  • What did you learn while undertaking the related activities?
  • Were there any surprises or did anything not go as you had expected?

In this section you should also include a discussion of how well you feel your didactic (classroom) work prepared you for the internship experience and for the work setting in general. What strengths and weaknesses do you see in your educational preparation? Do you have any suggestions on how to improve weak areas? Finally, in this section you should address to what extent your expectations for the internship were met.

Part II

The second section of your report is more flexible. Listed below are suggestions for areas you might like to cover. The written report need not address the same issues as you discuss in your oral report, but some overlap is likely. You should generally feel free to discuss issues not specifically listed below. An unusual incident is often very revealing of how an agency works. If you have questions, feel free to call your faculty supervisor.

Possible topics for discussion:

  • Describe in detail a project you handled. How did you plan it and carry it out? Who did you work with; how did you handle working as part of a group? What would you do differently next time?
  • What did you learn about the philosophy and ethical values in your field site agency? How are they operationalized? Are they consistent with your own; if not, where were they inconsistent? If they were inconsistent, could you reconcile yourself to working in this type of agency?
  • What did you learn about the role of your field site agency in the community? Who uses its services? How does the agency improve life in its local community? How does it interact with other community subsystems and other portions of the health subsystem (i.e., governmental, educational, economic, etc.)?
  • How does this organization plan for the future? How does it plan for new programs? What planning techniques are used? How are new programs evaluated?
  • Describe the methods and techniques used by the agency or its staff to carry out its work.
  • How did your supervisor interact with you, with other professional staff, and with non-professional staff? What do you think about your supervisor's style of supervision? What do you think about your supervisor's method of interacting with people he/she works with but does not supervise?


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