How to Find Preceptors Using Social Media – Part 2
Part 1 of this topic covered using Twitter and LinkedIn exclusively for outreach to potential preceptors. Far too many students are still calling clinics during business hours, and the truth is that it’s not effective.
How Could It Be?
Many practicing Nurse Practitioners have quotas to see between 2.3 – 2.7 patients per hour. To add, sometimes MDs try to see 3 patients per hour. And, for the clinic’s administrators, with the amount of paperwork and phone calls that need to be made, most clinic administrators are running around non-stop throughout.
Given this situation, essentially a mad house, OF COURSE, it’s going to be tough to breakthrough any clinic. Of course, administrators, office managers, and possible preceptors are going to say no, or not return calls. The reason is because it’s the easy answer to make in the moment. They may even want/need students for clinical rotations, but may still be too busy to give it any thought.
In Part 1, I reference that Nurse Practitioner students need to go to where their potential preceptor’s attention is already.
Everyone’s attention is on Facebook. Literally, even everyone’s mom is now on Facebook.
Let’s dive in! Before we do, for email scripts and word-for-word messages for Twitter or LinkedIn, check out the Ultimate Guide On Finding Your Own Clinical Rotations!
Everyone Is Already On Facebook
Some folks tend to think that Facebook isn’t as popular anymore, or that outreach on Facebook is unprofessional. Someone should tell them that.
Even in 2017, Facebook is still growing in users, and has become the central location for people to find their news, shopping, sales, and interactions with companies, organizations, and work.
Do Take advantage of the immense number of users on this platform and develop new relationships with them. The best part of reaching out to potential preceptors is that they can respond on their own time. Many preceptors already receive direct notifications to their phones, and will see them after working with patients.
Facebook Groups Are Powerful
There’s amazing communities on Facebook for Nurse Practitioners who are looking for preceptors. I definitely recommend joining a few of them, introducing yourself to the group, and seeing if you can get lucky!
Some groups have licensed Nurse Practitioners as well! You never know who may be able to take you! There’s a good chance there’s even a Facebook group specific for your school. Join those and try to connect with older members, who have already graduated and hit their one-year of eligibility.
If you can’t find a school specific group, then create one! Pay it forward!
Direct Messages Are Great, But Not Alone
This is an incredible way to communicate with possible preceptors directly on Facebook, but if you just send one direct message, you won’t be successful.
The reason is because requests from unknown sources (non-connections) are filtered and need to be approved. The issue is that these approvals are hard to notice on mobile devices.
Here’s a pro-tip: First message, then friend request (if possible), then message again. You’re much more likely to get a response this way!
You and I both know that the current system for nurse practitioners to find and schedule clinical rotations is broken and unfair. We know that all other types of healthcare professionals (MDs, PAs, DOs, RNs, etc) receive scheduled clinical placements. It’s absurd the way the current system operates. However, at this point, we must play the hand that is dealt.
Start leveraging Facebook, and you’ll see increased responses from preceptors. It’s worked for us at NPCR, and I know it can work for you as well! Always be confident enough to ask for help as well! You’re not alone in this struggle. Even if a preceptor can’t take you, ask them for a referral.
For the Ultimate Guide or help scheduling a clinical rotation, visit us at www.nursepractitionerclinicalrotations.com
Krish Chopra is the Co-Founder of NPCR, Nurse Practitioner Clinical Rotations. He believes that universities should be required to find their student’ clinical rotations, and is doing everything in his power to empower universities to take additional accountability. In the meantime, he and his awesome team help NP students all across the country to find and schedule their clinical rotations!