Now you’ve landed your clinical rotation site and preceptor. Congrats! Now what? It’s time to start preparing.
Different schools have different requirements for clinicals but most of the time you are required to wear a white coat of some sort. This can be purchased at the school, through the school, or online. I purchased mine from Amazon and it fits perfectly! You also need to find out if your white coat needs to be embroidered and/or must display your school’s badge.
There are a few resources I always keep with me during my rotations. One is the EMRA Antibiotic Pocket Guide. An ID doctor showed this to me one time and told me it’s the book that she uses for prescribing. A second pocket guide I like is NP Notes: Nurse Practitioner’s Clinical Pocket Guide. This is a great, general resource and organizes information well so you can quickly access it. It includes things such as prescribing guidelines and diagnostics.
Some students bring an iPad or tablet of some sort. You can do this, especially if you are in the hospital. I have not found this incredibly useful for inpatient unless you have a data plan because a lot of offices do not have WiFi for you to use. Always have plenty of things to write with and something to write on, I like using a foldable clipboard that fits into my coat pocket. A stethoscope is a must, but don’t worry about bringing an otoscope or any other assessment tools–those items will be in the office/hospital. Be mindful of where you put your things in the office. This is NOT your workplace, you are there as a guest. Ask your preceptor where you should store your belongings while you’re there. Also, make friends with the office administrator–they can make your clinical experience so much better because they run the everyday events of the office.
Always be communicative with your preceptor and BE ON TIME. Better yet, get there early. Treat this as a job interview–you never know what will happen! Make sure you learn as much as possible and involve yourself. Don’t be shy and don’t skip out on any learning opportunity. This is your chance to learn everything without any real repercussions before you are out in the real world with your license doing this on your own!