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Hello All, Melissa Gutierrez MPAS PA-C 

I wrote today in my blog how to stand out in clinical rotations below is my thread and my link to my blog hope it helps. 

HOW TO STAND OUT IN ROTATIONS

 

Popular topic on my thread is how to stand out in rotations, This can be for any medical professional or anyone doing hours of shadowing . 

I did extremely well in all my rotations and got positive feedback from all my preceptors . 

# 1 RULE is BE HUMBLE !!! 

Remember you are a GUEST When you are rotating in these clinics/ hospitals/ operation rooms.  You are there to learn as much as yo ucan from the provider and staff. Coming in to a new place can be very scary , and you will be dealing with a lot of staff such as nurses , medical assistants, receptionist, administrators , doctors and mid levels. Do NOT come in with the attitude like you know everything and you are already a professional , come in with a positive attitude. I think what helped me is I always showed genuiene interest in learning how the clinic and staff worked and i was a team player. Yes I was studying to be a PA but If I saw nurse be behind , medical assistant need help etc I would always offer to help.  So be a team player and be humble. 

#2 RULE is be happy ! 

I always made sure to show up ready to work . This included being a positive energy to work with. I always smiled and made sure to say good morning , good afternoon , hello ,etc. I always made sure to show a bit of my personality, part of being a good provider and colleague is being personable. I love what I do and i want to exude that energy.

#3 be open to criticism 

YOU WILL NOT ALWAYS BE RIGHT , in fact most of the time you aren't right. One thing from being in clinical medicine is that it is very different than textbook medicine, once your out in clinic you will see things are done differently and each doctor and staff has thier own way of handling things.  Be open to learn and be open when they correct your technique, treatment plans, patient education etc. 

#4 BE PREPARED to be PIMPED 

What do I mean by this , is that your preceptor  will ask you questions throughout your rotation. They will put you in the spot in front of patients, in front of other doctors and staff, and any time they can. I myself had my fair share of preceptors who " pimped" me and it was brutal. 

My first rotation was psychiatry with an Amazing doctor and staff, Dr. Igoa. He was so brilliant to learn from but he was tough. He was the definition of pimping , he would ask you questions left and right, he would give you material to study and read and specifically tell you to be ready to answer his questiosn the next day. I was always so scared  but I learned that i may not be right but I can at least try, throughout his rotation i started gaining confidence and trusting what I answered and if I was wrong I wanted to know why. At the end of his rotation he told me, " Melissa I would ask you things that quite frankly i didn't expect you to know the answers too, I want you to work on confidence and trusting your treatment plans and understanding why you chose them." 

So be prepared to be pimped ! Now there may be some preceptors that will pimp you to make you feel dumb-- sorry to say but it's the truth. Always handle it with grace. I remember havign a rotation like this, and If I would be made fun of for getting it wrong I always responded with, " Well I will make sure to review that and study it to not miss it again, or if they asked me something I didn't know the answer too , " I will look into that and have an answer for you tomorrow." I always made sure to be positive and show my ability to learn and handle thie field.

 

#5 BE NICE with your patients and treat them like you would want your family to be treated 

If you treat your patients well and show them you care believe me that goes a long way.  Be prepared to get resistance-- when some patients hear you are a student many of them don't want to be seen or examined by you, but good preceptors will stand up for you. If you show them you are there to learn and give them good quality care they will gain your trust. 

In my last rotation I was with the same clinic for 7 months -- so I got to know many of our patients to the point that many of them knew when I was graduating and urge me to return , it reassured me that I was doing something right .

Providers will want to hire you when they see how easy you can engage with patients-- this helps their practice grow.

# 6 Look the part !

always show up looking professional - no one care if you were up studying until 2 AM, didn't get any sleep and have exams coming up , Always show up with your scrubs/ professional clothes, white coat ironed and cleaned, stethoscope and any other medical equipment needed , note pad & pen. Look the part and be prepared for anything.

I always carried my otoscope / opthalmoscope with me, had manual BP cuff in car along with extra scrubs , shoes ,white coat in case of any accident. 

# 7 go the extra mile 

Many preceptors will tell you " oh we are supposed to close at 5 but we usually work up till 8 pm, you can leave at 5 pm."  I always stayed extra, I always offered to do more , Why ? Because you are onlu a student one , this is your opportunity to grow and learn . Make it known your interested , never ASK to leave early, never ASK if you can miss a day to study, never ASK if you can take a break. 

 

Mainly make it known that this is what you're passionate about and work your butt off while you're a student.  There's always something you can be doing. If you see the clinic is super behind take initiative, offer to help.  All of us have assets that we bring, for example I was a scribe before PA school , I used that as a strength, I was quick at charting and working on notes , Quicker than some preceptors because EMR systems are complicated so i always offerred to help and it went a long way

Don't be afraid to stand out , this can land you a job and a forever home as a provider. It sure did for me.

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