College students gain professional skills through internship

College students are gaining practical skills through an internship in which they are converting medical charts from existing papers to a digital format.

The students are working as interns through a partnership between V. Wright & Associates consulting and Affinity Health Care for Women. They are also learning public speaking, solving problems, dealing with adversity and building teamwork, said Vivian Wright, CEO of V. Wright & Associates.

“We teach the intangibles that you do not get in school but you need to know in the workforce,” Wright said. “Our students are learning to work in a team.”

V. Wright & Associates provides service to other companies related to software training, professional development and maximizing technology, Wright said. These skills are cornerstone for increasing productivity, she said.

Affinity Health Care for Woman owner Dr. Kenneth Lambert oversees the students in his office, where they convert the records. Medical offices are converting their records to comply with new regulations and to reflect a societal shift toward reducing paper in favor of technology.

“This is a major project and transferring the records makes the records more accessible,” Lambert said. “There are regulations regarding medical practices moving from the paper environment to electronic records.”

Some governments provide subsidies to assist the medical offices, because the conversion process is expensive, Lambert said. He said the students are making a major difference and gaining valuable skills.

Pine Bluff resident Ehvan Shaw is studying biochemistry with a focus on health at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. She said the internship is providing skills that she will use, as she intends to become a medical doctor.

“Since the medical field is going paperless, I am familiarizing myself with the software now so that when I get ready to go to medical school, I will be familiar with locating charts,” Shaw said. ” The process will not be so foreign to me. [Additionally], I get to meet doctors and nurses.”

Furthermore, she said she likes speaking to large groups of people.

“The team that I have worked with has been a joy to work with,” Shaw said.

Pine Bluff resident Randy Johnson is majoring in mass media at Henderson State University. He said he has been collating charts, honing his public speaking skills and networking.

“Before the internship, I wanted to focus on on-camera stuff,” Johnson said. “As part of the internship, we have assignments to help us better ourselves as students, as workers and as people.”

Kegan Lambert is studying psychology at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La. He said he is learning effective ways to work in a team, practice ethics and network professionally.

“This experience has taught me to practice confidentiality in a professional medical setting,” Lambert said. “Cultivating these skills will only enhance my future.”