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Attitude Check

Attitude Check
We still have a few more guaranteed preceptor techniques to cover. Preceptor technique number 14 is attitude check. It’s very important for preceptors to maintain a good attitude, a positive attitude. Coach John Wooden, again one of the most famous basketball coaches in history, was quoted as saying, “Things turn out best when people who make the best of the way things turn out.” He’s talking about maintaining a positive attitude. Seeing the glass is half full rather than half empty. Preceptors need to create an atmosphere of acceptance. A positive atmosphere represent a positive attitude to the students.
And the interesting thing here is that if a preceptor focuses on maintaining a good positive upbeat attitude based on his or her relationship with the students. That same positive impact will extend to colleagues and co-workers within the hospital. So this is not just something that you apply to preceptors but to apply to any healthcare professional any pharmacist. The key here is to think positively. To make the best of the way things turn out. And to represent a spirit of optimism in whatever the undertaking maybe. To also display a stable emotional consistency with some call emotional intelligence.
Such that when dealing with difficult things are difficult circumstances or there’s upsetting occurrences that occur in all of our lives, that the preceptor doesn’t bring it to work. It doesn’t manifest it in relation to the student. We need to be able to deal with life and all the ups and downs without having an up-and-down attitude. Becoming upset at times that can make students very uncomfortable when the preceptor has a labile personality and interactions with the students that are unpredictable. For the student doesn’t know whether the preceptor is going to snap at them or be friendly to them. It’s important to be consistent and stable, regardless of the circumstances that the preceptor is experiencing.
And lastly, fairly obviously and this applies all aspects of life. To smile. To be upbeat, enthusiastic, and a person that other people like to be around. And hopefully to demonstrate that the preceptor enjoys teaching and enjoys pharmacy and enjoys what he or she does. To simply create a positive atmosphere for student learning. Our next guaranteed preceptor technique is “same team.” Now a coach and basketball players have to be united in their desire to win the game. Everybody has to be focused on winning. If some of the players or the coach don’t really care, that team is probably not going to have a very good record. It’s the same thing in education.
Students and preceptors are like a coach and basketball players. They’re on the same team. They’re not opponent. Sometimes faculty members or preceptors may feel that the students are adversaries because they may have different goals or different approaches to things. But that’s not the case. The goal is for student learning. Students should be committed to that and preceptor should be committed to that. Everybody’s on the same team, not opponents. Likewise, it’s important to help students appreciate that staff members in the hospital are on the same team. They should be able to observe their preceptors, their pharmacist preceptors, interacting with nurses and physicians and other hospital personnel with an attitude of teamwork of collegiality.
So that it’s a collaborative environment that they work in and that they learn in. They experience that people are pulling together to accomplish the goals, and not working against each other in antagonistic fashion. And our last guaranteed preceptor technique, number 16, is “24/7.” Now preceptors have to realize that students learn more from what they do than what they say. Students are always observing what preceptors do. They’re constantly serving as role models to students 24/7. As students observe their preceptors, preceptors have to be real have to appreciate that what they’re doing is sending a message to their students. And have to be vigilant. To constantly stay on track to demonstrate the kind of behavior that they want manifested in their students.
It’s not realistic for a preceptor to demand a certain type of professional behavior from his or her student and not demonstrate that same professional behavior. So whatever it is we expect from our students, we have to be on guard 24/7 to manifest that same behavior. I’d like to cover the top ten DNA traits of great preceptors. This is a list that I put together about 13 years ago when I was a director of experiential education. I wanted to be able to share with our new preceptors. Some pointers on what would enable them to be considered a truly outstanding preceptor. It’s pretty straightforward list.
Little later in this session, I’m gonna share with you another list that was derived from student feedback, and actually published in the literature. And you’ll be able to compare the list that I put together with a list that appears from a study. The first one is to keep students well informed, to communicate openly and honestly. This is very important. Students need to know what’s expected of them and know where they stand with the preceptor. It also helps for the preceptor develop a good relationship with the student if there is consistent open and honest communication. Preceptors need to challenge and encourage students to reach their maximum potential. The goal should be excellent, not merely competence.
And care abouts students and treat them respectfully. The students need to know that they’re important to the preceptor. And that the preceptor is committed to their education. They need to evaluate student performance fairly and objectively. This is why it’s so important to use assessment checklist and assessment rubrics forms that guide the preceptor to assess the student’s performance based on specific criteria with rating scales that are well defined in advance to maintain a level of objectivity and consistency. They need to provide ample timely feedback. And we mentioned three techniques, three important preceptor techniques that relate to feedback. If you recall that was real time feedback. The feedback is given immediately, shortly after its needed.
That the feedback is pinpoint, so real-time feedback, pinpoint feedback which is highly specific and targeted. And then net positive feedback. Feedback should be constructive. And the bulk of feedback should be of a positive nature rather than a critical constructive nature. Preceptors should guide students to think critically. How important that is not give many lectures to students, but probe questions to students, to get them to think critically. And also, to inspire them to learn independently. Keep in mind, these students will be in their last year of the program. In a short time after completing the rotation, they will graduate and they’ll be independent practitioners.
It’s important to try to help the students cultivate skills that will enable them to learn on their own. So that when they don’t know something, they’ll be inspired to pursue to educate themselves about whatever it is that they don’t know. They should be accessible, approachable and responsive the student needs. It’s very important that the students don’t feel as though they’re a burden or they’re bothering the preceptors when they come to them. And they should play no favorites. I use the example of a drone here. Because to me what a preceptor should think about when they’ve got multiple students. Is there’s a drone following them around all day long, recording a video that someone is viewing throughout the day.
Who’s ever watching that video? Let’s say a preceptor likes one student more than another which is inevitable. The person watching the video of that preceptor interacting with his or her students, should not be able to tell any difference between the way the preceptor interacts with each of those students. The preceptors behavior toward those students should be absolutely identical and indistinguishable. And lastly, they should set a consistent example of a positive professional role model.

Maintaining a positive attitude is important for a good preceptor.

In addition, good teamwork is essential in a hospital. In this video, Prof. Brown explain these good characteristics of a preceptor.

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