Every student has that one teacher or preceptor they will always remember. The information taught to the student, the way the student was treated, the empowerment the student felt when learning a new concept or successfully completing an assignment. These powerful moments add up to the positive growth and development of our future of dietetics.
Dietetic preceptors are leaders, role models, and influencers. They are personally shaping the way our dietetic industry is going. The students that graduate from internships and pass the dietetic exam will go out into the dietetic field and continue to practice what they learned during their rotations. Therefore, the goal of learning from intelligent, successful, and inspiring preceptors is an important goal to have.
Do you want to change the future of dietetics? It starts with the people entering the field. This article discusses the importance of being a dietetic preceptor and how you can influence our future.
Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, an influential Nutrition Communications Consultant, shares her top benefit of being a dietetic preceptor. “As a preceptor, you not only help interns learn more about your area of practice but also make a difference in their perspective on what it means to be a professional so they can make the most of their career as a registered dietitian nutritionist.” Cochran knows how influential preceptors can provide insight on future job opportunities within the dietetic field.
There are many benefits to becoming a dietetic preceptor, too. Students can teach preceptors new technology trends. Students can help preceptors gain additional insight in certain situations that they may not have previously thought of. Cochran also adds to get the most out of being a preceptor, “Take time to get to know the student the first day, what their background and interests are and what they want to learn from you and your rotation. Also, have a plan for the time they will spend with you so you can make the most of your time together.” It’s all about learning and growing together.
Are you ready to be a dietetic preceptor? You can do it. Start by contacting your local dietetic internship (DI) program and talk to the director. Directors are always looking for preceptors to fill the various rotations. If you don’t have a local DI program, contact a distant program. Those students and directors are also always looking for preceptors nationwide.
Remember these words by Tom Petty, “The future is wide open.” We can change and influence it.
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