I wanted just to take a few minutes and give out our step-by-step guide on how you can find clinical rotations by yourself. And I know that a lot of people watching this video are thinking “why are we going to give out that information?” We obviously want you to work with us. And if you need our help, please get in touch with us!
But, we understand that there are going to be times when you just want to work on your own or you want to find a clinical rotation. And if you can’t, you could reach out to us. A lot of students do that and that’s perfectly okay, because we’re here to help anyone that needs help.
So, here’s the guide.
Step One: Use school resources
Find the preceptors in the area, in the city that you’re looking, that have taken students before.
You can find that out a few ways. Usually, your school would have a list of preceptors that they’ve worked with in the past. This list will not be up to date. It never is. It’s always going to be, you know, some preceptors you’re going to call on there and they’re going to say they haven’t taken a student for five years. And that’s okay. That’s just step one.
Step Two: Outreach on Linkedin
Get in touch with preceptors on LinkedIn. This is a really awesome pro-tip that gets awesome results because you’re reaching out to the preceptor directly, as opposed to reaching out to their office staff or office manager. So, I definitely recommend you try that.
Step Three: Call local physician offices
And then, as your last resort, I would call physician offices and nurse practitioner offices and see if they’re interested in taking on students.
You don’t want to talk directly with the physician or the preceptor because, to be honest with you, one, they’re so busy all day. They’re seeing patients in and out all day. And number two, they don’t even know their own schedule.
You want speak with the office manager, and that is the most important person in any clinic. To reach to the office manager, call the receptionist and ask to speak with whoever schedules students for rotations, and if they say, “There’s no one here that does that,” or the person is not available, then ask for the office manager. This is usually the same person.
When you speak with the office manager, I would say, for us, even 8 out of 10 times, you’re going to end up going straight to voicemail but that’s okay. If you go to voicemail, I would leave a great voicemail, be super friendly, let them know you’re looking for this rotation on this date, and you’ve heard great things about this preceptor and you just want to work with them.
Step Four: Call back and get an email address immediately.
The next thing I would do is I would just call right back, speak with the receptionist, and let her know that you left this awesome voicemail but you know the office manager is super busy, and rather than taking their time during the day to schedule a call, you would much rather just shoot them a quick email. Most of the time, the receptionist will give out the email, so that way you will have the office manager’s email address.
This is super important for so many reasons, and I would honestly say a lot of our success comes from reaching out to office managers via email, by writing compelling emails and making sure you’re following up.
Office managers are so busy. You think preceptors are busy? Office managers are just as busy. They’re on the phone non-stop, they’re dealing with patients, they’re dealing with healthcare companies, they’re dealing with other staff, and they’re dealing with so many different things that they don’t mean any disrespect but it’s going to be tough to get a response from them right away.
Step Five: Email immediately
So, you’re going to leave them a voicemail and then you’re going to email them. You’re going to email them with a subject line saying, “Hey, I have a quick question for you. Follow up from voicemail.”
In the body of the email you’re going to say, “Hey, this is the situation, I need these many hours. I would love to rotate with you guys for this date, starting when.” And then, in that same email address, you would say, “When is a good time to follow up with you?”
You want to make sure it’s easy for them to look at this email, digest it in little parts and know exactly what they have to do next. That way, they don’t have to think about it and, a lot of times, office managers will respond to emails at 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM before they leave for the day, because they’re done with patients. At that point in the day, office managers are tired and exhausted, so it’s your responsibility to make it easier for them to response.
Step 6: Staying Relevant So Paperwork Gets Done
Once that gets done, and you’re able to get in touch with the office manager and they say yes to taking you on, the next step is to make sure that you are staying relevant and you’re following up with them for the paperwork.
It is not their fault and it is just a difficult process to get paperwork done in the medical industry. But all know this though! You have already been nurses for years. There is so much paperwork to do anything, it is crazy how anything actually gets done. It’s the same thing with your paperwork right now.
You just have to follow up with them once a week for about two to four weeks, and you will get your paperwork back. If it’s getting to a point where your deadline’s coming up, I would ask the office manager, “Hey, is there a good time I can just drop in for 5 to 10 minutes during your lunch, or after patients leave?” And you’ll even bring them coffee. Most of the time, if it’s just a quick swap, they’re happy to meet with you.
You guys just have to take the initial effort and try creative ideas to get in touch. And if you do that, I promise you, you can get your rotation on your own. If you don’t want to do that, or it’s too stressful or, you know, you’re working and you’re in school and exams are coming up, feel free to get in touch with us.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get in touch with us, learn how we can help and, if anything else, check out our blog. We have awesome information for students that want to set up rotations on their own or just want awesome information that we’ve found from other nurse practitioners.