1. Arrive Early
Take the time drive to the location the day before. This way, you will know how long it will take to get there, park, and find the exact floor and location. Showing up early won’t impress the staff, but showing up late will definitely raise a few eyebrows!
2. Don’t Argue
Do not argue with the nurses, residents, or attending physicians. This is a sure fire way to make your next 4 weeks miserable. You will be “pimped”, play the game and move on. If you don’t know an answer, tell them you don’t know, but you’ll look it up and get back to them.
3. Look Presentable
Make sure your white coat is ironed, hair is combed, and you are professionally dressed.
4. Take a Tour of the Clinic/Hospital
The most important thing you can do is make sure you know where everything is located. If a resident needs certain supplies, you do not want to spend 15 minutes trying to locate where those supplies are stored. After some time, the resident will get tired of waiting, and will do it themselves.
5. Learn How to Present
The worse thing for an attending is hearing a student ramble on for 15 minutes. Every attending will want things presented differently; make sure you ask, so that you can tailor your presentation to their liking. You need to be aware that the attending physician will hear speeches from students all day, every day, so make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for them.
6. Show Interest
Even if you don’t care about surgery, pretend! Soak in as much knowledge about the specialty, because even if you are not going into surgery, you will be taking care of patients who will. You will only be there temporarily, so make the most of it.
7. Say yes!
This applies to everything. Procedures, rounding on patients, getting supplies; just say yes! Do not say no because you are scared of doing it wrong. You probably will do it wrong, but it won’t be the end of the world. The more you do, the more you will learn!
8. Be respectful to all staff
This includes everyone! Do not talk down or disrespect the nurses or LVNs. They can make you or break you. You can learn so much from the nurses at the hospital, so remember to mind your manners.
9. Be proactive
Don’t sit around waiting to be told to do things. Take the initiative to find things to do. Round on patients, look up labs, schedule procedures for patients, or even ask the residents what they need help with. Showing initiative will impress the residents, and will make them want to teach you.
10. Enjoy yourself
Make sure to have fun learning. Remember that you want to be there. A positive attitude will go a long way!