I'm an FNP and I want to share some advice that I assumed was obvious, but apparently is not. I started precepting students this fall and I had four over the semester. Two were rock stars - one is just graduating and I recommended her for a job with my practice and she was hired, the other is graduating in May and I told her that I would love to recommend her for a job as well.
Student 3 was very good, and I would have been happy to recommend him as well, until his last day. I see patients in nursing homes and assisted livings and go to several facilities each day. On his last day, we made the morning rounds, and then I told him to meet me at the last place after lunch. About a half hour later, he texted me and asked if he could skip the afternoon since it was going to be a light load, and he had a lot of studying he wanted to get done.
You do not ask a preceptor if you can leave early or skip a day etc. unless it is for something urgent (a sick child or such). Right there my opinion of him changed and I wouldn't recommend him for a job now.
Then there was student 4. She's been a psych NP for five years and is getting her FNP certificate, so you'd think she'd understand the basics of professionalism. First, she was late every day except one, often over 30 minutes. She had a long commute, so I even told her to meet me at my second stop instead of my first (about 45 minutes later) to make it easier for her. She was still always late, and usually never notified me at all.
Then on her last day, she went to the skilled unit at the facility, even though we always started on the assisted living side, and saw a patient without me even knowing she was on-site. It was a new admission who I had never seen, which makes it even worse. She finally came over to find me an hour and 15 minutes after her scheduled start time. She did not contact me at all to tell me she would be late or that she was at the skilled unit. This was so far out of line. I was tempted to fail her for the rotation, but I'm probably too nice and passed her with a poor evaluation.
5 STEPS ON BEING A GOOD PRECEPTEE
STEP 1 Your preceptors are doing you a favor. They usually do not get paid for this. You need to respect their time.
STEP 2 Show up on time. And that means early. Allow time for traffic. Think about how you feel sitting in the waiting room when your provider is running late. It sucks. So be on time.
STEP 3 Do not go off on your own unless your preceptor tells you to. It is completely unprofessional to see patients without permission from your preceptor.
STEP 4 Treat every rotation as an extended job interview. At a minimum, you want your preceptors to be willing to provide references for you, and you might find it's a place that you would like to work. If you leave a bad impression, you will definitely lose your chance of working there, and will likely lose your reference as well.
STEP 5 When a preceptor has a bad experience with a student, they are less likely to take students in the future. I know how hard it is to find preceptors, and if providers stop offering because they have bad experiences, it makes it harder for everyone.
I'm not going to stop precepting (although now I definitely understand why providers do stop), because I had some great preceptors who really went out of their way to help me, so I'm going to keep paying it forward. But I'm really frustrated right now.
Please, I ask everyone to be professional on their rotations - show up on time, follow professional standards and norms, work hard, and generally act like you want to be there.