Clinical Preceptor Questions

Clinical teaching offers a variety of opportunities for learning. As a preceptor, you have probably struggled to consider how best to respond to a student's question or comment in order to maximize learning. Sometimes a busy clinic may prevent you from having time to share important information, or maybe you feel confused about how to respond to a specific question. The audio links below are from a Preceptor Training face-to-face session. This session was moderated by Debbie Ringdahl, Nurse-Midwifery Program Faculty.


Read a comment that a student may make and then listen to how other preceptors have responded in the past. In our work, there isn't one right answer, but it can be helpful to consider how you can turn a remark into an opportunity for learning. These remarks come from experienced preceptor clinic and hospital experiences in providing care to women and can be translated into sentiments expressed in any clinical setting.

  • "I've worked as a labor and delivery nurse for ten years, and I've never seen anyone do it that way before."
    Response

  • "I'd prefer to take call time during the daytime. I just don't function as well at night."
    Response

  • "I know that your practice guidelines say you should do an STD check on all women who com in for annual exams who are under 25 years. I didn't do one on this client because she hasn't been sexually active this past year."
    Response

  • "I don't want to go over her smoking problem during this prenatal visit. It's the first time I've met her, and I don't want to alienate her."
    Response

  • "How can I learn the right way to do this if everyone does it a different way and then corrects me?"
    Response

  • "I'd rather that you call the consultant this time. I've heard that s/he is really difficult, and I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing."
    Response

  • "Last week I felt like things were really coming together, and this week I feel like I don't know anything."
    Response

  • What kind of issues and concerns have you faced when it comes to being a preceptor?"
    Response