Senior practicum clinicals - is this normal?

Posted
by lcb lcb Member Student

My cohort has to reach out to our senior practicum preceptors ourselves, with no introduction. We’ve been given a name but no contact info and sometimes there’s uncertainty about the unit, we just know the hospital. We’re supposed to find their contact info and get in touch with them ourselves. The first preceptor I reached out to didn’t know anything about being having been assigned to precept. I was given a different preceptor so now I have to reach out again, but I don’t even know which unit she’s in. Is this normal for senior practicum? Do most schools do this, or does the professor or clinical instructor send an email introducing you? 

LovingPeds, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Clinical Pediatrics; Maternal-Child Educator. Has 11 years experience.

With my senior practicum I was given the name, the unit, and a contact number. I had to reach out and introduce myself and schedule hours for preceptorship. I think it was the same way years later when I agreed to precept students myself. I received a phone call on my cell phone from students introducing themselves. It was not surprising, because I knew I had agreed to take on a student.

In graduate school, I was assigned a preceptor for my acute care hospital work through the hospital. I had to contact doctor's offices myself to ask if anyone was willing for my primary care education. Some schools give assistance with preceptorship. Other schools have students on their own.

It really depends on the school and the precepting environment.

My program also had us get in touch with our preceptor and schedule our practicum hours on our own. However, they didn't tell us that that was going to be the case, so I was kind of surprised when someone from my practicum site emailed me with my preceptor's contact info and told me to get in touch with them to schedule my hours. Very typical of my disorganized program. 🙄

OK, but you all were given contact info? We’re just being given a name. No contact info and in some cases the unit is unclear. 
 

I was assigned two different preceptors who both told me they weren’t actually my preceptor, and now that hospital has rescinded my placement and I’ve been moved to a different hospital. 
 

This is my last semester and I am on the verge of quitting nursing school over this. It’s so damn exhausting. 

18 hours ago, lcb said:

OK, but you all were given contact info? We’re just being given a name. No contact info and in some cases the unit is unclear. 
 

I was assigned two different preceptors who both told me they weren’t actually my preceptor, and now that hospital has rescinded my placement and I’ve been moved to a different hospital. 
 

This is my last semester and I am on the verge of quitting nursing school over this. It’s so damn exhausting. 

That sounds very frustrating but remember it's your school's responsibility to provide you with the clinical hours you need to graduate, so I guess I would advise just trying not to stress too much and trusting that you'll get your hours one way or another. Oftentimes it's not actually your program that's at fault, but the clinical sites which are often very last-minute with assigning units and preceptors to students. We had some last-minute cancellations in our cohort too for students that wanted critical care placements because the units are so understaffed and overwhelmed with patients right now. As students, since we are of no real use to the hospitals and they are doing us a "favor" by letting us get our clinical hours there, unfortunately our needs are not really prioritized. Hope it all works out. 

Edited by kubelkabondy

LovingPeds, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Clinical Pediatrics; Maternal-Child Educator. Has 11 years experience.

On 9/29/2021 at 9:22 PM, lcb said:

OK, but you all were given contact info? We’re just being given a name. No contact info and in some cases the unit is unclear. 
 

I was assigned two different preceptors who both told me they weren’t actually my preceptor, and now that hospital has rescinded my placement and I’ve been moved to a different hospital. 
 

This is my last semester and I am on the verge of quitting nursing school over this. It’s so damn exhausting. 

If you have spoken with your instructor and not gotten any more information to go on, then my suggestion for you in this case is to reach out to the hospital's education department. All hospitals have someone who is in charge of clinical placement for the schools and they are often within the education department. This person should be able to give you more information to contact your clinical preceptor. This would be less disruptive than calling multiple floors to look for the nurse.