1. Levites, Zohar MS, CRNA, ARNP
  2. Levites Strekalova, Yulia A. PhD, MBA

Article Content

Standards for independent practice competencies require nurse practitioners (NPs) to demonstrate ability to educate professional caregivers to provide culturally sensitive patient-centered care (PCC). Preceptorship in small private practices provides opportunities for nursing and medical students to develop PCC skills under the mentorship of an NP. However, working with a student can also take away time and create temporary inefficiencies in the clinic workflow. Scaffolding was used as a strategy to accept students in a small mental health practice and achieve improvements in the efficiency of care delivery. First, a one-hour clinic walk-through was scheduled outside of the regular clinic hours during which the student was shown clinic layout and the location of supplies and learned about clinic operations and workflow. This orientation made the student better prepared once the clinic opened and patients started to arrive. Second, the student shadowed the NP for the first few patient consultations with specific attention to future tasks that the student will undertake. A quick debrief was held after each patient experience. Third, the trainee gradually participated in a wide spectrum of experiences (eg, intake, patient room placement, vital signs intake, reminder calls, and pharmacy calls). This organization of the preceptorship experience provides preceptors with quality assistance after a few practice days. For trainees, this three-step scaffolded experience provides repeat exposure to the same task that results in knowledge integration, efficacy in providing assistance, and orientation toward PCC.