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Your dream preceptor


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After having a 2hr discussion with my student about bleeding and how we contribute to the Trauma Triad of Death, he professed how appreciative he is about how much time I take to build on the foundation of knowledge his school built. My partner compared his practicum to the one she experienced, where she was a slave and treated like a child.

That got me thinking: As a practitioner now, what would YOU like from a preceptor if you were back in the student roll?

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I think the most important thing for a preseptor should do is, if the student is showing signs of stress, to either step in or to try and talk them through. There are many times all I had to say is "Take a deep breath" and they get back on track.

I will personally say I have always lucked out in having great preceptors. The partners could be pricks, but all in all it was a great learning time in my career.

Good question Mobey

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A good preceptor needs to have the knowledge and the ability to share without being denigrating to their students. Many have forgotten they were new themselves once upon a time

. Our job as a preceptor is to allow the student to grow in both knowledge and self assurance. Many come with lots of education and need their street smarts taught in the field.

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If you're looking for advice for you in particular, I can tell you that I talked at length with someone that rode with you, I won't say in what capacity, and they claimed that you're smart, kind, patient and inspiring as a provider....

Pissed me off...I want to be you! But I'm too fat...I just know it...

Kudos to you Brother, I hope that I could rate such a review someday...

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To me a good preceptor is one that let's the student succeed and fail (to a degree). On my last day of OB rotation I totally fumbled with setting up a drip and moving fluids over. No harm was done, my preceptor stood and watched what I was doing, and when I figured it out, she said good job. When we left the patients room she took time to show me a few tricks to make it easier for the next time.

Never on that rotation did I feel rushed, scared, or intimidated by her. She wMade the learning experience priceless, and on top of that she is writing me a letter of recommendation to grad school!

A good preceptor is one who is calm, relaxed, and collected enough to watch a student fumble.

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My number one mission, if I'm ever to have a student, is to allow them the freedom to generate their own style. I only ever want to step in during a call if it's required for patient care. Do not interupt your student in the middle of their assessment! They may not do things in the same order you do or ask the same questions. That doesn't make them incompetent. It makes them different. The worst preceptors I've ever dealt with are the preceptors who strive to make little freshly minted carbon copies of themselves. It stifles creative process and in the end the profession.

Secondly, discuss every call for better or worse with an open mind. What did the student find that lead them to the decisions they made? If there was an error was it an error in knowledge base or process? Both are very different. If your student struggles with something in particular share what your own experience has taught you about that topic.

I've had preceptors both great and atrocious. Without fail atrocious preceptors are the ones who have decided the only correct way to do things is their way.

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Obviously every student will have their own ideal preceptor. But for me, my dream preceptor is one that will talk through every call, scenario, or discrepancy with thoroughness and patience. Every call ends with a discussion about both the successful and the not-so-successful decisions made, with a conscious point made to note more than one way to accomplish every goal.

Also, no down time allowed (if you're not running 24 hr shifts, like some of us). If there's no calls, be running scenarios or writing essays, but always be learning. My preceptors only wanted to watch mountain-biking videos. Needless to say, I didn't benefit from those times...

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Thanks for the ego boost Dwayne, as you know I really need that :whistle: I pay people dearly to say such things. You got your Ab registration yet? Dying for casuals here!!

The way I approach all my students is the same. I start out with a pep talk, that pretty well sums me up as a preceptor:

"Look, you're not here to do what I do on a given call, You're here to do what YOU would do on a given call. That said, you do not get any opportunity to observe me doing calls. That would only show you one style - that may or may not be right. Take what you learned in the classroom and apply it to the patients on your practicum. If you are going to hurt someone I will stop you... otherwise just do what you have been taught, and I will teach you how to adapt and overcome in the situations that the school did not cover (see cold and MVC's thread). Otherwise keep a positive learning attitude, accept critisism, and you will be successful."

Paramedicmike: Please note the proper use of your, and you're :beer:

Edited by mobey
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When I precept my students it's with the philosophy that if they fail it's because I failed them. Don't get me wrong though, I don't pass everyone. There is the occasional totally hopeless case that just does not and will never understand.

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