Going into a clinical practice as a student is something outside of most people’s comfort zone. Not only have you changed from expert RN to newbie NP student, which is a shock to the system anyway, but you are in someone’s actual, real live place of work. Not really a member of their team, but participating as such. Of course, you feel a bit insecure, and you try to fit in. A lot of the success depends on your own attitude and behavior in that role, but the preceptor you have, as well as the rest of the staff at the place you are being precepted, can make the difference between a great learning experience, or total disaster.
I consider myself massively fortunate to have scored the preceptor I have. The practice has 3 physicians, and two nurse practitioners, one just graduated. The providers, nurses and all the staff are spectacularly supportive and nice. Wow. It could be so different.
The NP who is my preceptor is patient, never makes me feel stupid, answers all of my questions and gives me the benefit of her experience by teaching me lots of good stuff. Coming into this rotation, I was quite nervous since most of my experience has been with the older folks. Kids were not really on my radar, my own are in their 30’s, so it has been a while since I dealt with the little guys. She has made me feel welcome and doesn’t even act like I am slowing her down a bit, which I know I do sometimes. Even when I feel like I did not do a very good job with a diagnosis or something, she backs me up and points out what I did right.
Bottom line: be careful who you pick as your preceptor, if you have a choice. A bad fit makes for a decreased learning experience and stress, a good fit is wonderful! I hope all my preceptors are as good a choice as this first one is turning out to be.
Thanks to everyone in the practice, I haven’t had anything but positive experiences with all of you!