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Steps to become a super preceptor

Steps to become a super preceptor
The first step to becoming a super preceptor, is to design the features of a prototype student. If you picture your student as a robot that you’re going to design. What features would you include? What were really saying here? Is what attributes you want your students to develop? As a result of being in your rotation, if the students could be training with you for four weeks. What kind of skills, what level of knowledge you want the students to obtain as part of their training. What we’re focusing on here is the concept of learning outcomes. Learning outcomes are the specific developments that take place in a student as a result of their training.
The knowledge that they gain, the skills that they develop. It defines the relationship between the students and the preceptor. Because if the preceptor is focused on those designated learning outcomes what they want the student to achieve as a result of being in that rotation. And the student understand what those outcomes are. It guides both the student and the preceptor to pursue the development of those learning outcomes. Even more important, if the learning outcomes are viewed as a target, something to be achieved by both the preceptor and the student. It guides the three elements of education, all in the direction of that target. The methods that the preceptor uses, the activities and the exercises that students engage in during the rotation.
It also guide to the assessment, the way the preceptor evaluate the performance of the students. And lastly, it identifies the content, the aspect of learning, that takes place during the rotation. So, if all three of those elements are focused on the target and the learning outcomes that the preceptor has developed, they will be consistent with each other and aligned with each other, focused on achieving those outcomes. The bottom line here is the quality education starts with a vision of a quality product. It’s up to the preceptor to establish that vision and share that vision with the student. So that all activities and all efforts during the rotation are geared toward achieving those outcomes.
Second step to being a super preceptor, Is focus all activities and assignments on that target. The preceptor and the student both need to be aiming at that prototype vision of what the student should be when they complete the rotation. The famous author, Stephen Covey, in his book “The seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” As one of that this the seven habits said we should begin with the end in mind. That’s what we’re really talking about here. If the preceptor in the student both have a clear picture of what that end should be, when the student finishes the rotation. In all activities and all exercises, everything the student does can be geared toward that end.
What it requires is for the preceptor to think outside the box. Because the natural tendency is to have the student do the types of things that the preceptor might have done. When he or she was a resident or a student, what needs to be done here is for the preceptor is to think about the specific learning outcomes that are to be achieved by the students. And to be creative, developing assignments and activities and exercises that the student can do during the rotation, to achieve those specific learning outcome. It can mean a variety of things and it might depend on the specific opportunities that are available at the training site. But the preceptor needs to identify those outcomes.
And then, activities that will lead toward them.
When preparing your learning outcomes, keep in mind that learning is constructed, not transmitted directly from the preceptor to the student. Students have to develop their own learning based on the activities provided to them by the preceptor. The best thing to do when preparing learning outcomes is to write them out in specifics. So they guide you and they can be provided to the student to guide the students at the student learns. When writing a learning outcome simply began by the statement when the student successfully complete the rotation, he or she will be able to complete that statement. As many learning outcomes as needed to identify what it is you want the student to accomplish during the rotation.
George Miller, a physician back in 1990, developed what he called “the clinical competence pyramid”. Clinical competence is focused on critical thinking. What George Miller identified was that there’s a progression of clinical development when a student completes the rotation. The very first level is knowledge. To know what it is that the student needs to learn. The second level is to know how to do, what it is that they need to learn. The Third level is to be able to show how they do, what they’re learning. And the last level, the highest level of competence, is to be able to actually do it in regular fashion during the rotation. Now, when this preceptor is guiding the students through this developement.
It’s important to remember that listening is not learning. A rotation should not be a matter of the preceptor simply telling backs to the students. Even though the preceptor has a great deal of knowledge and expertise. Students are not going to learn about that expertise by simply listening to the preceptor explain things to him or her. By the same token, telling is not teaching. The preceptor is not effectively teaching the students by trying to explain things or tell things to the students. Since learning is constructed, the student has to construct his or her own learning by being engaged in activities and exercises and assignments that guide the student toward that learn.
And all of this is based on the learning outcome that target has already been developed by the preceptor. If critical thinking is going to be a part of this development of clinical competence, we probably should identify what we mean by critical thinking. You’ve probably read or heard about various definitions of critical thinking. Most of them are very confusing and very complex. And when you read the definition you wonder if the person who developed that definition was doing much critical thinking when they developed. Actually critical thinking is very straightforward. If the preceptor has a good concise idea of what critical thinking is and the elements of critical thinking.
It makes it much easier to develop specific activities that students can engage in during the rotation that will achieve the types of learning that the preceptor developed as the learning outcomes. The very first element of critical thinking is simply to be able to analyze information, specifically patient information in many cases or laboratory information or information about drugs or diseases. But the student needs to be able to analyze the information by examining it and figuring out what it is and what it means. Not very complex, simply identifying the information that is provided to the students. The second step after examining and analyzing the information is to be able to evaluate. Performance value judgments about it.
Is the information relevant to the situation? Is the information valid? By evaluating the information, the student will know the extent to which it applies to the whatever activity or what other whatever challenges being done. And lastly, after the student analyzes and evaluates the information, the last thing is inference or to conclude to form a hypothesis or make decisions about the information. So, in summary, critical thinking is simply a three-step process, in which students should be engaged in analyzing information, evaluating information and then forming conclusions or making decisions about that information. So when activities are being designed by the preceptor with the learning outcomes in mind very important for the preceptor to
be constantly thinking about: Will this activity engage my student and critical thinking? Will the student have to analyze information, evaluate information and make decisions about information. That’s what really develops deep learning that we want to take place during the rotation.

Prof. Brown introduces the 6 steps in becoming a super preceptor. He begins by illustrating the importance of focusing on outcome-centered precepting. In addition, he illustrates the benefits of constructed learning in which students can apply what they’ve learned, use critical thinking, and improve problem solving skills. This video will cover the first two steps in this process.

Step One:

Designing the features of a prototype student

Step Two:

Focusing all activities & assignments on the target

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