So, I just counted up. I have contacted 14 nurse practitioners and doctors trying to find preceptors for this semester. Fourteen, folks. And I started this process in early August. So, that makes about six weeks that I have been calling people to see if they will let me come in and see their patients with them. This is without counting all of the NPs I met at a recent East Texas Nurse Practitioners meeting, none of whom were in family or pediatric practice. Of the fourteen people I called, six agreed to work with me. Wonderful, except that the two in pediatrics work for a health system that doesn't (yet) have a contract with my school. So, that leaves four, one of whom only sees adults and already has a student, two of whom are MDs who don't see children, and one of whom is in cardiology.
Now I have a case study due in less than a week on a pediatric patient seen THIS SEMESTER, and guess what... I HAVE NOT SEEN ANY KIDS.
And my preceptor wants to come observe me on a certain Friday, but one preceptor is out of the office that day, the other one has a student that day, and the other two haven't e-mailed me back to let me know if they see patients on Fridays. Frankly, I wouldn't if I could avoid it. So, I have no idea how to ensure I will be doing clinicals that day, other than outright begging and pleading a complete stranger who happens to have MD or FNP after his/her name (and who is not one of the fourteen I have already called) to let me come in and see patients with them for several days prior to as well as on that particular day so that they can evaluate on a five-page form how well I interview, diagnose, treat and write up patients. (And, incidentally, if I find someone who will do this, I will have to rearrange the remainder of my clinical schedule and possibly childcare). Which brings me to my point: all of this has been so distracting from school that I doubt I will be examining, diagnosing, treating, and writing up very well by that point.
When I am an administrator at a nursing school that educates nurse practitioners, remind me to put a system in place that all students have an adequate clinical experience without having to beg people to work with them. That should only happen after graduation, if at all.
I was thinking earlier today that this whole experience will probably trigger some latent personality disorder or bipolar tendencies in me, so that by the time I finish, people will be saying things like, "She used to be such a nice, normal girl before she went to nurse practitioner school." AAARRRGH!!!!