Public Health Perspectives: Finding a Practicum and Tips for Succeeding with Guest Jade Harris

JPHMP presents Public Health Perspectives, a podcast series targeted towards strengthening the future public health workforce. We will explore the narratives of public health care professionals and gain insight on career paths that shape the profession. In our journey, we will use JPHMP’s 21 Public Health Case Studies on Policy & Administration, which provides case studies that help students and practitioners connect with real life experiences. These case studies explore core problems, stakeholders, steps taken, challenges, results, conclusions, and discussion questions for analysis that can be used to strengthen the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accreditation criteria that form the foundation of public health degrees.

Today on Public Health Perspectives, Jade Harris, an MPH student, studying at Kent State University, shares insights about a practicum she recently completed at Advantage Health Centers (AHC), a federally qualified health organization in Detroit, MI. According to its site, AHC “provides quality medical, dental, and behavioral health services to residents of the metropolitan Detroit community, regardless of their ability to pay.” The organization serves the insured, uninsured, and underinsured to comprehensively meet medical and dental needs throughout every stage of life. We discussed a few of Jade’s responsibilities as part of the practicum, which includes statistical analyses on no-show rates and patterns in diagnosis codes at the various Advantage Health Center sites, and some of her tips, which might help many of you who are looking to undertake practicums of your own.

Jade Harris

In addition to being a student, Jade Harris is a busy mom, wife, and daughter. She’s learned from experience what it takes to succeed in completing a rewarding but challenging online practicum. Here are her top tips for making the most of the experience:

  1. Start work early in order to avoid distractions.
  2. Have someone critique your work. Pass your work along to a colleague or friend.
  3. Network to find people who can help you find practicums or other information.
  4. Develop coping mechanisms for stressful periods, and find someone in the program or who has already been in the program to lean on for support.
  5. Set boundaries for yourself and others in order to avoid inconvenient disruptions to your schedule. Set specific times for tasks, remain organized, and adhere to those boundaries.

For further reading, consider these related articles from the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice:*

*Articles may require a subscription to JPHMP or purchase.


Camelia Singletary, MPH

Camelia Singletary, MPH, received her master’s degree in public health from the University of South Carolina in 2015. Her research interests include exploring the implementation of school physical activity programs in combination with nutritional components. She is also interested in analyzing the adoption of physical activity and healthy eating skills from a social-cognitive perspective. As a public health communicator at JPHMP Direct, she hopes to create linkages between evidence-based research, public health coursework, and health certification competencies.

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