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It’s that time of year again folks…well almost anyway!
What time is it you ask??
Time to start thinking about going back to school!!
I admit, it’s a scary thought for me because I’m actually going back to school this fall. Yikes!
With that in mind if you are in school for anything medical related…nursing, respiratory, pharmacy…whatever this almost means time for clinicals again! I don’t know about you but I loved clinical days! I am a hands on learner and si this is where I learned the most!
Clinicals can be fun, exciting, stressful, and most importantly a job interview. That’s one of the first things our instructors told us. Every clinical day is a job interview whether you know it or not. If you apply for a job at a clinical site you did clinicals at the managers will ask around and find out what kind of student you were. I think a lot of students forget this until hiring time and then it’s too late.
Have no fear though today I will be giving you a few pointers on what NOT to do/say during a clinical day. It may have been a while since I was in school but I have had my fair share of students since I graduated.
First of all you should look happy to be there. You are there to learn and your preceptor is taking the time during their work day to teach you how to do your future job, you should probably act like you like it.Remember that attitude is everything.
You should keep all comments about how the patient looks, smells, or any condition they may have to yourself unless someone asks you. Walking into a room with a 28 week old neonate who is on the vent and saying “He looks funny. Does he have Down Syndrome?” will not score you any points. Also talking about information we talk about in report in the wrong patients room will also score you dirty looks. So you probably shouldn’t ask “Is this the baby with herpes?” in front of other healthcare workers that you don’t know. Keep your comments to yourself.
If you don’t know your preceptor very well you are allowed to ask appropriate questions such as their name, how long they have worked there, where is their favorite area to work….things pertaining to the job you will do one day. However it is not appropriate to ask “How old are you?” “How much did you pay for your house?” Keep your comments to yourself.
Nor is it appropriate to make comments such as “I like your badge picture…it looks nothing like you.” “Your’e 30? You look good for your age.” “You probably only look so good for 30 because you aren’t married and don’t have kids” That last one really rubbed me the wrong way…Keep your comments to yourself.
Also acting like a know it all will not do you any good. You are there to learn. If I show you a piece of equipment in use that we don’t use very often and try to explain it to you only to get a bored look and an “I don’t have any questions” after I go over the equipment with you, be prepared to sit on your ass for the rest of the day because I’m not showing you anything else. Obviously you have seen it all already. Don’t act like a know it all.
These are just a few ways to not thoroughly piss your preceptor off. I’m sure there are more ways but this is all I can think of for now. Please don’t be that student that no one wants to precept. And above all…Keep your comments to yourself.