Feeling a little nervous before you begin your first clinical rotation? Not to worry! It’s perfectly normal! There are a lot of unknowns during your first few rotations. For example, “Where do I go? What’s expected of me? What type of personality does the preceptor have? What are the staff dynamics? Where do I fit in?” As well as making sure you’re not slowing the staff down too much.
I found myself going with the flow at first. As long as I knew the preceptor’s name, where the bathroom was, and where I could safely put my bag–I was okay. The first couple of days I was dedicated to understanding the dynamics of the office, names, positions, as well as learning. You will slowly get an idea of where you fit in. It will constantly change as new skills, procedures, and autonomy are introduced.
I suggest talking to your preceptor(s) about expectations and other barriers early on. For example, I have Ulcerative Colitis, therefore, I may need access to a restroom more often. I was upfront with any concerns I may have so we are all on the same page.
There are other times when rotations can be tricky. If you are at a rotation where you constantly change preceptors, location, or both–ask for help! Most staff know when you are lost or confused, so put the ego or shyness aside and ask.