Student blog: Reflection on my IHE summer internship at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
5 August 2021
Oreeditse Mogobye (UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering) is an undergraduate student enrolled in a UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering and UCL Engineering scheme allowing engineers to spend time embedded and learning within clinical settings. Here she tells us more.
Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital has inspiring teams and very good work culture. For an intern they do not create a different environment as compared to the permanent employees. Throughout the internship I have been able to see how vital good communication skills are and how they can impact your working relationship with others. Most importantly I have realised the importance of finding a job in a field you love and how choosing the right job is the most important decision that you can make. Moreover, it has been a good dose of reality of what life will be like upon graduating. As a student it easy have late classes and late study sessions but this summer my working hours had me up at seven and in bed by midnight.
The work world is not easy, and it is now obvious as to why it is so important to do what you love. An internship gives us the opportunity to learn how to interact with other employees and gain experience in the working world. Open communication was one of the strongest and most apparent skills that I learned during my internship. When I first started interning, I was intimidated and nervous to ask too many questions because I did not want to admit that I did not understand some concepts. Luckily, I got over that fear quickly because asking questions is the only way to learn what you are really supposed to be doing. I found my colleagues appreciated it more if I asked many questions to make sure I really understood what I was doing and that I did it correctly. If I had not worked with such cooperative and helpful team, I probably would have been too intimidated to ask questions in my next job. Practical experience is the best, and internships give us hands-on experience we need. Throughout this internship I have polished my skills such as multitasking, communicating, learning to deal with diversity, and dealing with deadlines. Which were mostly tested through the weekly meetings I had with my supervisors, clinical visits and working in the labs.
As my internship draws to a close and I reflect on all I have learned, I realize what an excellent experience this has been. I gathered much knowledge in the classroom, but a hands-on approach has been invaluable. I believe that an internship is extremely valuable to a student. It is a small taste of the real world. It has served as a beneficial ending to my formal education. In my opinion, the best way to learn is by doing. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship this summer and now have very valuable experience under my belt. I can now easily converse about what Spinal Myeloma is and what Royal National Orthopaedic is doing to helping patients with this condition. Words are not enough to express how grateful I am to have been part the team that is at the for front in inventing new ways to help patients. I know this will help when looking for jobs and needing references. One of the moments that stand out to me the most is when I had to have a brace fitting and design. It was fascinating to see the whole process that goes on to make the brace. That really solidified my intent of what I wanted to archive at the end. I am happy with circuit system that created that measures the pressures at the target areas withing the brace. This is steppingstone towards designing a better brace that can be recommended to patients all over the world.
This experience has only gotten me more excited to continue in this field for my career. Many times, an internship is a wake-up call to students that they are in the wrong major, but it was the opposite for me. It confirmed that I love the Biomedical Engineering and want to continue with it for a very long time.