COVID-19 Changes to our Internship Program
Updated June 10, 2021
Additional changes and updates are likely prior to the start of the 2021-2022 Internship Year
Given the unprecedented challenges of providing doctoral internship training while in the global COVID-19 pandemic, several changes were made to the internship program. Training policies hinge on CDC, state, university, and center guidelines and policy. More information on related university guidelines can be found at https://coronavirus.wvu.edu/.
While this is a challenging time to be an intern, it is also an opportunity to practice flexibility and to learn things you never expected. Significant changes to the internship training program are delineated in the categories below.
Telehealth and In-Person Services
Most services continue to be provided via telehealth. We offer on-site presence to field any in-person emergency visits via our Crisis Clinic, although many such interventions are still provided via telehealth. Our interns are also given opportunity post-vaccination to meet with clients in larger rooms or for outside “Walk and Talks” as clinically indicated, taking extra precaution with privacy and client informed consent to such treatment. Such services are delivered with appropriate physical distancing and utilization of masks. Vaccinated interns can continue to provide in-person psychological assessment services (see below). Additional opportunity for in-person work will likely gradually become available over the course of the training year pending the global health situation and related guidance.
At the start of the internship year, interns will be entirely on-site in their offices with support from on-site staff. After the first month of orientation, interns will be transitioned to a work schedule that more closely aligns with senior staff, which may include work from home options.
Group Therapy Changes
Interns remain able to participate in cofacilitating therapy groups, although these now primarily take place in a telehealth environment.
CCPPS transitioned from typical drop-in hours in 2020 to a telehealth Crisis Clinic for self-identified emergencies. A larger number of scheduled triage appointments were also made available. For higher-risk students, the option for in-person intervention was offered. Interns participate in both scheduled triages and Crisis Clinic coverage, although they are paired with a senior staff early in the training year until receiving supervisory approval for independently carrying out these clinical activities.
LD/ADHD Assessment Changes
After vaccination, interns continue to administer full-battery learning disability/ADHD assessments. These are completed in-person with masks, plexiglass, physical distancing, and thorough sanitation procedures. There is an option for abbreviated telehealth LD/ADHD battery depending on any changes in public health and university guidelines.
Providing Supervision Changes
Our interns continue to provide supervision to practicum students as expected, with the exception being that these services are largely provided in a teleconferencing environment with some opportunity for outdoor or larger room supervision post-vaccination. Extra precautions must be taken with discussion of client information in an outdoor setting.
Consultation & Outreach Changes
Outreach is provided primarily in a teleconferencing environment, although there are options for outdoor outreach opportunities with appropriate physical distancing and safety precautions.
Individual Supervision Changes
Individual supervision is provided as expected, albeit in a teleconferencing environment or physically distanced with masks in large rooms or outdoors. We maintain ability to have direct observation of services provided via a recording function in our teleconferencing software.
Seminars are provided primarily in a teleconferencing environment. In some cases, these can be conducted outdoors or with masks or in large rooms allowing for appropriate physical distancing. Our standard seminar offerings are provided with no major content changes.
Staff Meetings/Case Conference/Committee Work Changes
Staff meetings, case conference, and committees are conducted in a teleconferencing environment. Our interns are still able to provide formal case presentations in this format.
After-hours phone coverage has remained largely unchanged. In-person interventions are a possibility. If these are necessary, they are provided with appropriate physical distancing and use of masks. As is always the case, our interns always have a senior staff paired with them as secondary on call whenever they are carrying the phone.