Working with Preceptors as a Nurse Practitioner Student

by David Warren, FNP, ACNP, ENP

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    00:01 Hello everyone and welcome to this video on working with preceptors.

    00:05 My name is David Warren and I'm certified as a family nurse practitioner, acute care nurse practitioner and emergency nurse practitioner.

    00:12 In today's video, I really wanna share with you my top tips for excelling in the clinical arena as a nurse practitioner student working with preceptors.

    00:21 I'm going to make some assumptions here.

    00:23 I'm going to assume that you already have your clinical rotations lined up.

    00:27 You already have your preceptors selected or they have been selected for you.

    00:31 and you're ready to start clinical rotation day one.

    00:34 The number one point that I would share with you is be professional.

    00:38 I can't stress this enough.

    00:39 Be professional in all aspects of your time in the clinical setting with preceptors.

    00:45 That looks like a variety of things.

    00:46 Dress professionally.

    00:48 Find out, do they wear scrubs? Do they wear business attire? Or what is the attire at the hospital or the clinic you will be rotating through? And you really wanna tailor your appearance to whatever that may be.

    00:59 You also wanna remember that your preceptors are there to help you.

    01:02 They are not there to be your friend.

    01:04 you're going to encounter a variety of personalities just like you will in the real world.

    01:09 You will encounter people who have similar personalities that you do, you will encounter personalities that differ from you significantly, and you have to be professional with every person that you come in contact with.

    01:21 You don't want to say things that can be deemed as inappropriate.

    01:25 You really wanna keep a professional demeanor throughout your entire experience.

    01:29 That includes in-person communication and email or written communication.

    01:34 Keep everything as professional as you can.

    01:37 Number two, you want to be motivated and have a very good work ethic.

    01:42 As a nurse practitioner student in the clinical arena, you will not know everything you need to know about taking care of patients.

    01:48 In fact, that's why you're in the clinical setting so you can learn those things.

    01:52 You need to have a good attitude and you need to be motivated to make up for that knowledge deficit.

    01:57 Number three, you want to take something from everyone, every preceptor you encounter.

    02:03 You wanna take something away and learn from that experience.

    02:06 You will learn tips, you will learn tricks, you will learn what you like, and you will learn what you don't like.

    02:11 And you need to take something away from every experience you get.

    02:15 You will work with preceptors who will do things completely different than you might do.

    02:19 And you may work with preceptors who may do things very similar to what you would do in that instance.

    02:24 And you need to take something away from both of those people.

    02:28 Some of your preceptors will be very hands-off, meaning you will go in and see the patient yourself, you'll take the history yourself, you'll do the exam yourself, and then you'll come back and talk to your preceptor and give them your plan of care.

    02:40 And then some preceptors will be more hands-on.

    02:42 They may want to be in the room with you, watching you take the history, watching you do the exam, and watching you come up with a differential and coming up with a plan for the patient.

    02:51 And you need to be able to take something away from both of those instances.

    02:54 Some preceptors may give you more feedback.

    02:56 and some preceptors may give you less feedback and you need to take something away from every person that you work with.

    03:02 Even if you think it is not a very good idea to do X, Y, and Z what the preceptor did, you need to take something away and learn from that experience.

    03:11 Learn, maybe I won't do this once I'm a nurse practitioner or maybe that worked really well.

    03:16 I love the way they did X, Y, and Z exam and I'm going to take that away for myself whenever I start practicing.

    03:23 Number four, along those same lines, you really want to set your expectations at the beginning of the day with your preceptor.

    03:30 Whenever you go into your shift at the very beginning, before you ever see a patient, you really want to line out your goals and your expectations for that day.

    03:38 For instance, what do you want to learn or what do you want to do that day? I'll give you some examples.

    03:43 Whenever you go in to see your preceptor and you're talking, you're introducing yourself, or maybe this is not your first day, maybe you're a few weeks in.

    03:50 You really want to say to your preceptor, okay, here's what I would like to do today.

    03:53 I really want to focus on taking histories today, or I really want to focus on doing my exams today, or I really want to focus on coming up with a plan.

    04:01 For instance, I'll go see the patient, I'll take the history, I'll do the exam, and then I'll come talk to you and develop a plan.

    04:07 Or maybe you can come into the room, watch me take my history, and then give me some feedback after we leave the room.

    04:13 Whatever your expectations or your goals are that day, be upfront about them at the very beginning of the day so everyone is on the same page.

    04:22 Set those clear expectations and set those clear goals.

    04:25 Now your preceptor may say, well that may not be a good idea today, let's try this today and maybe do that tomorrow.

    04:30 And then you guys can compromise or negotiate however you want to talk about that in the clinical setting to set your expectation for that particular day.

    04:38 But it is really important, no matter what, that at the very beginning of the day that you set those expectations, you tell your preceptor your goals for the day so everyone is on the same page and you can have a really good learning experience.

    04:50 Number five and probably the most important point that I want to get across to you today is treat every day, every shift, and every person like it's a job interview because it is.

    05:02 At the end of your clinical rotations as a nurse practitioner student, you will graduate, you will pass boards, and you'll be looking for a job.

    05:09 And a lot of the places that you rotate as a student will be potential job sites.

    05:14 And so you really want to treat every day and every person and every shift like it is a job interview, because one day you may be working there.

    05:23 Every time you show up to a shift as a nurse practitioner student, the staff, your preceptors, the clinic managers, the medical directors, or the hospital staff will be judging you.

    05:34 They will be determining whether or not they would like to have you as an employee one day or as a coworker one day.

    05:41 So treat every single day and every single shift like it's a job interview, because there's a good chance that you may want to work there one day.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Working with Preceptors as a Nurse Practitioner Student by David Warren, FNP, ACNP, ENP is from the course Role Transitions (APRN).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Independent practice
    2. Professional demeanor
    3. Keep a motivated attitude
    4. Learn something from every preceptor
    5. Set goals and expectations
    1. Appropriate attire
    2. Maintain a professional demeanor over email
    3. Become friends with your preceptor
    4. Have a stern attitude
    5. Make frequent jokes
    1. At the beginning of the day
    2. Over lunch
    3. At the end of the day
    4. At the end of the rotation
    5. During a break in the clinic

    Author of lecture Working with Preceptors as a Nurse Practitioner Student

     David Warren, FNP, ACNP, ENP

    David Warren, FNP, ACNP, ENP

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