The relationship between the specialized nurses of the Labor and Delivery Suite and the medical students who are rotating through the unit as clinical clerks has traditionally been a poor one. The objective of this project was to develop a program which pairs medical students with nurse preceptors to improve their understanding of each other's roles and to provide students with an opportunity to gain basic clinical skills, and secondarily, to evaluate the students' perceptions of the program
We developed an ongoing program which pairs third-year students with Labor and Delivery nurses for one to two shifts. The evaluation of the program used the end-of-rotation questionnaire completed anonymously by students to determine their rating.
The median rating of the program by students is 5 out of 7 (with 7 being the best rating). Seventy-seven percent rated the program 5 or higher.
This program has been successful in pairing students with nurse preceptors for a total of three years so far. The process we used to develop the program may help other institutions who wish to put in place a similar program.