Efrosine Nikolaou, a senior biology major, interned last year at St.
Barnabas Children's Hospital in the Child Life Department, helping
children feel comfortable with the hospital experience. She says, "Having
a hands-on internship at St. Barnabas Children's Hospital was one of
the best experiences that I have had".
To minimize the fear of hospitalization and reduce the stress
associated with illness, she addressed the emotional and developmental
needs of hospitalized children. "I played games and showed them their
procedures with dolls so that they weren't scared." The relaxed and
comfortable environment, and trusting relationships built with the
patients was an important part of the intern experience. "I helped
children maintain positive self-esteem,and assisted with their
development of motor, intellectual, social and emotional skills."
Efrosine also helped with non-medical needs. Working with children,
she learned that play is an important component of development and
serves as a universal form of communication. "Each stage of development
is different. Children who experience hospitalization need to continue
their development and socialization through play, but it needs to be
manipulated, due to the change of environment."
Efrosine's second intern experience was at Quantex Laboratory, a
leading contract laboratory with over 20 years in the pharmaceutical,
medical device, personal care product and cosmetic industry. She trained
at the side of established chemists for several weeks and eventually
ran experiments with state of the art equipment in the areas of
chromatography, spectroscopy, titrimetry and physio-chemistry.
Efrosine encourages students to intern in an area in which they can
see themselves in the future. She says that "an internship in the field
that students are studying can help them decide what they want to do
with their career." Taking full advantage of a unique set of
internships, Efrosine has advanced in her career decision process.
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