Student preceptor checklist

Beyond programs for individuals who are actively engaged in clinical education and training, many healthcare organizations provide observation/shadowing opportunities for high school and college students who are considering a career in the medical field. Relevant policies should address the structure for requesting an application to observe a member of an organization’s healthcare staff performing duties. In these situations, students should only be permitted to observe how relevant disciplines and departments function individually and within the greater context of the healthcare organization. The hosting facility should specify acceptable observation thresholds. For example, “student observers may request up to 50 hours of observation in a period of no more than 16 weeks.” The organization should also consider requiring a letter from the student’s academic advisor, immunization records, and completion of some form of orientation (e.g., HIPAA compliance video, facility orientation demonstrating the entry and exit points in the building, and review of the facility codes). This tools is a checklist for executing consistent, compliant observing and shadowing processes.