Things You can Do to Create A Successful Student

Precepting Graduate Health Profession Students
Juliana van Olphen Fehr, CNM, Ph.D., FACNM
Shenandoah University Nurse-Midwifery Education Program
Things You can Do to Create A Successful Student-Preceptor Relationship
According to Levett-Jones and Lathlean (2009), Students have a need to belong and this needs
powerfully influences cognitive processes, emotional patterns, behavioral responses, health and well-being.
Subsequently, the failure to satisfy this need can have devastating consequences on the students’
achievement of competence. The literature suggests that diminished belongingness may impede students'
motivation for learning and influence the degree to which they are willing to conform rather than adopt a
questioning approach to clinical practice. Therefore it is always important for us to know ourselves as
teachers: Here are some helpful hints for working with yourself so that you can help your student achieve
competence, just by making sure she/he feels the she/he belongs in the environment that you are teaching
Know your teaching style, and your student’s learning style and competence level
Know your student's past experiences and what material they have covered in class
Make sure expectations are clear for both of you:
Communicate clear schedules and expectations for amount of clinical time
 State your objectives for the day and outline both of your responsibilities
Mutually agree upon expectations for learning progression
Be open to learning as well as encouraging the same from your student
Allow your student to be a student while interacting with her/him respectfully
 Positively reinforce your student's positive behaviors
 Give specific and timely feedback of performance in a private setting
Use humor
Communicate your personal needs.
Develop cultural competence and a respect for individual variations of gender, race, national or ethnic
origin, creed, marital status, sexual orientation, age or disability.
Prepare your clients for your students
Give a general statement of the possibility of student participation
At the initial contact, gain client consent for a student, introduce client to student
Assure client that you will remain closely involved in her care.
Give adequate amount of time for visit dependent on learning level of student
Perform mindful active teaching while client is present
Acknowledge student behaviors that may make you want to "protect" your client
 Perform a "pre-visit" review of client's record for sensitive information
 Agree with student on how to approach sensitive data gathering/information
 Coach physical exam until psychomotor skills are smooth
Agree when you will intervene in the patient's care
Maintain clear communication about clients who are not appropriate for, or do not desire, student care
Factors that Create an Unhealthy Preceptor-Student-Client Relationship
Showing a lack of respect for yourself, students or clients
Correcting students in front of clients, using an authoritarian teaching style, intimidating the student
Levett-Jones, T. & Lathlean, J. (2009). The ascent of competence conceptual framework: an outcome
of a study of belongingness. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18(20); 2870-2879, October.