Preceptor Preparation Online Course - Advanced

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Essential Competencies of Preceptors: A Focus on Working with APRN Students

Module 4: Facilitating Critical Thinking and Clinical Decision-Making

Clinical Inquiry and Intervention

Critical thinking and clinical decision making are dependent upon a sound knowledge base of the patient population of the unit. A way to enhance this knowledge is by having the student participate in clinical discussions with preceptor related to clinical interventions (i.e. clinical rounds, oral presentations).

The benefit of clinical rounds

Attending clinical rounds has several advantages and they are:

  • To provide exposure to the variety in patient presentations, disease processes, and treatment modalities
  • To identify learning needs, such as specific patient populations, treatments, procedures, and equipment
  • To provide opportunities for the graduate student to collaborate with other disciplines and promote an understanding of their roles in the care of the patients on the clinical setting.

Ongoing feedback

Ideally, the preceptor and student have time to discuss the student's observations and experiences with clinical rounds, and how to address expectations and knowledge gaps.

  • The preceptor encourages the student to have active and purposeful interaction in clinical situations as core knowledge and confidence improves.
  • Dynamic feedback from the preceptor will allow for the student to analyze the learning opportunity and navigate decision making for the most optimal outcome.
  • These experiences provide the preceptor with data regarding the student's communication skills, and confidence in collaborating with other healthcare providers.
  • These observations provide information about the student's critical thinking and clinical reasoning about the patients.

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