Students studying in the Department of Health and Human Performance have opportunities for service learning experience with the local community and internship experience in a variety of career concentrations. Students enrolled in HLTH 427 – Health Education and Promotion are able to work directly with the local school systems, The Weakley County Prevention Coalition, The Martin Housing Authority and the Tennessee Teen Institute to develop and implement health education materials and programs. All students seeking educational licensure also work in the public school system prior to their formal student teaching semester.
A formal internship experience is the capstone requirement for students in the public health and exercise science and wellness concentrations. Students must be in their final semester and have completed all other academic coursework in order to enroll in the internship. Positions can be either paid or unpaid, depending on the internship host selected. Students may serve anywhere in the world and work in a variety settings depending on personal career goals.
Students must complete at least 400 internship hours to qualify for graduation. All participating students must also purchase personal liability insurance. Internship opportunities are only open to majors in this department. Examples of internship areas are below. Participation in an internship experience in no way guarantees acceptance into professional school or a chosen career field.
Contact the department at 731-881-7310 for more information or speak with your academic adviser.
This internship gives students experience working with a certified athletic trainer in two primary settings: outpatient clinics or school settings. Students will gain experience working with patients, gathering family medical history, using therapeutic equipment, developing exercise programs and evaluating acute physical conditions. The experience may include sporting event coverage, emergency medicine, medical charting and staff meetings. The skills needed to work in this environment include interpersonal and communication skills, confident knowledge of anatomy and physiology, physiological response to injury, patient confidentiality and recommendations for a healthy lifestyle.
This internship prepares students to work in a cardiac rehabilitation setting with patients who are recovering from a heart attack and/or angioplasty or bypass surgery and are still at high risk of secondary disease. The experience may include patient education, dynamic static ECG interpretation, exercise prescriptions, graded exercise stress testing, and Phase I, II and III leadership education. The education needed to work in this environment is a strong knowledge of ECG skills, blood pressure assessment and exercise prescription. Upon completion of this internship, students should be prepared to sit for the ACSM Certified Exercise Specialist Exam.
This internship gives students an in-depth view of the chiropractic occupation. Students will observe spinal manipulation and observe and participate in patient evaluation and set up for manipulation, office management, and potentially x-ray interpretation or sport performance evaluations. This experience will help a student determine if chiropractic is an appropriate career choice.
Clinical Exercise Physiology
There are a variety of clinical possibilities available through this internship field, and students will work with a variety of populations. These may include patients with COPD, cancer, diabetes, heart disease (some cardiac rehab), multiple sclerosis, obesity, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, etc., depending on the internship host site. The skills a student should develop during this opportunity are exercise prescription for clinical populations, adaptation of exercise testing, exercise progression and exercise leadership for the particular population. After this internship, the student should be prepared to sit for the ACSM Certified Exercise Specialist Exam.
Community Fitness/Personal Trainer
This internship prepares students to work with relatively healthy children, adults or seniors as a personal trainer. This internship can be accomplished in a for-profit fitness such as Sidelines Physical Therapy and Fitness Center or a community organization such as YMCA or YWCA. The skills developed by the student should include fitness assessment, exercise prescription and programming, body fat analysis, coaching behavior change and development of interpersonal relationship skills. After this internship, the student should be able to take a Personal Training Certification Exam, including those presented by ACE, ACSM, NSCA or the ACSM Health Fitness Instructor Exam. This internship is similar to the community fitness and clinical exercise physiology opportunities. The internship will provide experience in exercise testing and prescription for clients ranging from apparently healthy to a variety of clinical patients.
Community Health/Health Promotion Planning
This internship provides students with experience planning, implementing and evaluating health promotion programs in a variety of different content areas. Content areas may include fitness, nutrition, environmental health, lung health, HIV/AIDS and senior health. Interns may work in a school, hospital, private facility or non-profit agency. Experiences may include conducting needs assessment, researching best practices, attending coalition meetings, and marketing and evaluating programs. Students will also develop skills in working in groups and communication.
Medical Fitness Facility
Students will work in a physical fitness facility at a hospital which provides programming for facility employees as well as the surrounding community. Students will assist with daily facility operations, program development and implementation, health education classes, and health fairs and screenings. At the conclusion of this internship the student should be prepared to sit for the ACSM Health Fitness Instructor Exam.
Nutrition Education Programming
This internship provides students with experience working with children and adults. Internships are available in the school system and with non-profit organizations teaching children basic nutrition education and cooking skills. Community internship are available working with healthy adults and adults with diabetes. Experience may include assisting with program planning, marketing and evaluation. Interns may assist with teaching nutrition classes and coordinating nutrition campaigns and activities. Interns may also work with women and children on an individual basis.
This internship gives students experience working with a physician’s assistant in primary care clinics, hospital emergency departments and/or specialty settings such as cardiology, neurology and orthopedics. These settings will provide the internship student with patient interactions to include family medical history, patient medical history, vital signs, lab work and results, radiographic evaluation, pre and post-operative consultations, wellness screenings, and chronic and acute care of physical conditions. The experience may include medical charting, patient scheduling, medical coding and staff meetings. The skills needed to work in this environment include interpersonal and communication skills, confident knowledge of anatomy and physiology, disease processes, physiological response to injury and illness, patient confidentiality and recommendations for a healthy lifestyle. This experience will help a student determine if becoming a physician’s assistant is an appropriate career choice.
This internship gives students an opportunity to apply classroom learning and gain hands-on experience inside a community/public health work environment. They will build valuable networking connections with local and state professional leaders and have the opportunity to “test drive” their career choice. Students may find internships with health departments, non-profit organizations, coordinated school health units and various other government agencies.
This internship gives students experience working with a physical therapist or occupational therapist. There are two primary settings where this can take place: outpatient clinics or hospitals providing outpatient and inpatient care. These settings will provide the internship student with patient interactions to include family medical history, patient medical history, use of therapeutic equipment, exercise programs, and evaluation of chronic and acute physical conditions. The experience may include medical charting, patient scheduling, medical coding, fabrication of splints and staff meetings. The skills needed to work in this environment include interpersonal and communication skills, confident knowledge of anatomy and physiology, disease processes, physiological response to injury and illness, patient confidentiality and recommendations for a healthy lifestyle.
This internship gives students experience working with a speech-language pathologist. There are various settings where this can take place, including public and private schools, state and local health departments, hospitals, state and federal government agencies, rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing care facilities, long-term care facilities, community clinics, adult day care centers, colleges and universities, centers for persons with developmental disabilities, private practice offices and research laboratories. An internship of this nature should expose the intern to methods of screening and evaluating speech and language skills, equipment used to test and evaluate speech problems, and the development of individual education and intervention plans.
Sports Performance/Strength and Conditioning
This internship is similar to community personal training, but focuses on sport strength and conditioning for athletes and can be done in a college/school setting or private facility. The internship should prepare students to work as strength and conditioning coaches for a professional sports team, university or private facility. The experiences and skills acquired in this setting are exercise testing and prescription for athletic performance enhancement. At the conclusion of this internship, the student should be prepared to sit for the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Exam.
This internship gives students experience working individually with clients to improve personal wellness. This may include helping clients reach goals regarding stress management, nutrition, time management and physical fitness. The experience may include weekly meetings with clients, goal setting, and program planning, marketing and evaluation. The skills needed to work in this environment include goal setting and motivational interviewing. Interns also need to have knowledge of personal and community health.
Worksite Wellness/Corporate Fitness
Many corporations and worksites includes a wellness component in their benefits package, and options range from health promotion or corporate fitness facilities and programming to medical management of the health benefits package. Emphasis is on health promotion programs such as stress management, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, and smoking cessation for employees within the company. Often the focus will be on assessing the return of investment of the employee health benefits package. If the facility includes an onsite fitness center, the intern will also be exposed to exercise testing and prescription for participating employees. At the completion of this internship the student should be prepared to begin the process to sit for the ACSM Health Fitness Instructor Exam.