First Impressions From Day One Of My Internship
By Natalia K.
What struck me most about the workplace on my first day was how big the health department in Tacoma is. My first day of training, I met another woman who just started working at the health department in the methadone program. She is a counselor who helps people who have drug problems. She was really passionate about what she does, and she was really excited to start working at the health department.
My first days at this job were very welcoming; I found that my colleagues were very friendly and positive people. They made me feel welcome and wanted to get to know me. I also observed a very friendly atmosphere between the colleagues and their supervisors. My supervisors were also very patient and helpful throughout my training.
Most excited about:
I am most excited about getting the opportunity to work at a health department, not only to see what kinds of jobs are available at the health department, but also to explore the types of people that work in these careers. I am hoping to get the opportunity to see if I would like to work alongside people such as these.
I am looking forward to starting my first real 9-5 job experience, even though it’s only temporary. I am also excited about getting to work with the community of Tacoma as well as getting to learn about other people’s careers in the health department. I am also really excited for the day that I get to shadow another person who works in the health department. During my interview interview, my supervisors said that every intern gets the opportunity to shadow someone else in the health department for a whole workday. This is really a cool opportunity because I will further get to explore other careers in the health department.
Most worried about:
I am most worried about being the new intern, because I feel very young to be working an adult job. I am also worried about making mistakes, or not learning things quickly enough during training.
An Informational Interview with a Food Safety Specialist
By Hien N.
Layne is an Environmental Health Specialist in the Food Safety program at Snohomish Health District. She has been with Snohomish Health District for over 30 years! She is a well-respected employee with a vast degree of knowledge in environmental health. The most enjoyable aspect of her job at this time is training others and conducting policy work for the food program. She was an inspector for many years but now she does mostly education and training for the other health inspectors. Her least favorite part of her job is there isn’t enough time to get everything done that needs to be done. She believes that there is always something that can be done to improve public health.
Layne attended Western Washington University and studied environmental science and microbiology with an emphasis on fresh-water ecosystems. Right after graduating from Western, she acquired a job with Lewis County as a microbiologist, and then later moved to Snohomish Health District. She initially worked in the solid and hazardous waste program which also included conducting pool inspections. After about a year, she moved to the Food Program and there is where she developed her expertise in “all things food”.
She explained that as a health inspector in the Food Program, you may end up working varied work hours. This, however, can work in your favor. You are able to flex your hours to meet the needs of the Health District, but also to meet your personal needs (if necessary).
Being one of the first women to work in Environmental Health Program at the Snohomish Health District, Layne worked with the Environmental Health Director and the Human Resource Director to create a policy that extended allowable maternal leave. She was able to utilize this new policy as were other future working mothers. When returning to work after her maternal leave, she was also able to create the first part-time environmental health specialist position. Several other employees also made use of the new limited availability of part-time positions. These were not just working mothers; formerly retired persons also came back to work on a part-time basis.
Layne is a wonderful person with great intentions for public health safety. Snohomish Health District is lucky to have someone like her regulating over Snohomish County!