Building a Strong Relationship with Your Preceptor During Clinicals

Understand Your Preceptor’s Expectations

Preceptors are instrumental in guiding your clinical education. As such, it is pivotal to know what their expectations are. Knowing what they expect from you can help you meet or even exceed those expectations. It can also help you assess your performance and determine if you are on the right track. By asking questions and being open to feedback, you will be able to get a clear understanding of what they are looking for.

Communicate Effectively

Communication is key when building a good relationship with your preceptor. Establish open communication early on in the clinical rotation. Tell your preceptor how you communicate, whether through emails, phone calls, or face-to-face conversations. Also, express your concerns, if any. This puts both of you on the same page and ensures that they are aware of your learning goals. During shift changes, give your preceptor a concise, comprehensive report on everything you did, observed, and what you plan to do next. This can help you both have a better understanding of what is happening in the clinical setting.

Be Respectful and Professional

Respect goes a long way when it comes to building relationships with your preceptor. Show your preceptor that you value their time, guidance, and feedback by being punctual and coming to the rotations well-prepared. Dress appropriately and behave professionally at all times. Also, keep in mind that your preceptor might have their own tasks to complete. Thus, if they are unable to answer your questions or give you feedback right away, don’t take it personally. Be respectful of their time and prioritize your tasks accordingly.

Show Initiative and be Proactive

Don’t be afraid to take the initiative and be proactive. Your preceptor will appreciate it if you are willing to take on new tasks and responsibilities. By taking the initiative, you show that you are enthusiastic and dedicated to learning. It helps you gain valuable experience and contributes to your learning goals. If there are tasks that you are not quite sure about, ask your preceptor for guidance. They may provide you with valuable feedback and give you the confidence you need to tackle the task more effectively.

Provide Feedback

Lastly, don’t forget to provide feedback to your preceptor. If something is working well for you, let them know. If there are areas of your education that you feel require more attention, let them know that too. Feedback is essential in any relationship, including the one you have with your preceptor. Also, express your gratitude for their guidance and support. Preceptors often go above and beyond to ensure that their students learn something new while in the clinical setting. A simple thank you can go a long way in building a positive relationship.


Building a good relationship with your preceptor can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Understanding their expectations, communicating effectively, being respectful, showing initiative, and providing feedback are all essential ingredients to building that relationship. By following the tips outlined above, you will be able to build a strong relationship with your preceptor, gain valuable experience, and achieve your learning goals. Want to keep exploring the subject?, we’ve selected this for your further reading.

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