"As a student it is sometimes hard to read your preceptor.... does she want me to jump in? Does she want me to wait to be asked? Does she want me to follow her every step or does she want me to back off????? All questions that we wrestle with in our heads. The absolute best day I EVER had was when I had a seasoned ICU nurse meet me eye to eye at the desk. She said "I'm glad you are here today. This is how I work. This is what I expect from you. I am here to teach you anything that you want to learn, but I will not beg you to follow me and get involved. I would love to have you right beside me all day long, but if you just want to sit at the desk, I'm not going to come and get you. I would love to show you how to do procedures, but if you don't want to try, I'm not going to beg you". She scared the crap out of me, but I knew exactly how it was going to be up front and I learned a ton! It was a great day! "
This is a great example of drawing very clear lines for expectations while allowing for the student to step back if they feel overstimulated or overwhelmed.