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Preceptor of the Year 2015-2016
The University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy awarded two Preceptors of the Year for the 2015-16 academic year. Pharmacist Jennifer Nevins, who precepts students at Platte County Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home in Wheatland, WY was one of the award recipients. Jennifer was recently interviewed to find out what she does to earn the respect and admiration of her students so that other preceptors can learn from her. Here are her tips and ideas on ways to educate and motivate students even in the busiest of rotation settings.
Jennifer has been with the Platte County Memorial Hospital pharmacy for 35 years. Out of those 35 years, she has been a preceptor in some capacity for almost 20 years. Jennifer went into the profession of pharmacy through the encouragement of her parents, learning how to spell pharmacist in the second grade. She graduated from the University of Wyoming in December of 1976 and moved to Lincoln, NE where she worked in a retail pharmacy for about three years. When she left retail pharmacy she went to work for the Health Maintenance Organization, HealthOne. She worked with HealthOne for about two years when she and her husband moved to Wheatland, WY. There Jennifer started working at both the hospital and a retail pharmacy. She eventually left retail to work at the hospital full time. Her first job at the hospital was stocking pill boxes for each of the floors for $8.00 an hour. Suffice it to say she is doing more than stocking pill boxes in her current role as the Pharmacy Director, and she is definitely making more than $8.00 an hour!
Interacting with students is the thing Jennifer likes best about being a preceptor. She is very impressed with the confidence students have while on rotation, and she credits the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy with helping to instill that confidence in students. One of the things Jennifer likes to show students is what rural healthcare is like and how to advocate for the patient. Jennifer feels it’s important to treat students like they are a part of the Pharmacy team, as well as family. She strives to treat students as a peer and share her knowledge gained with them. Jennifer says the other great thing about being a preceptor is she and her staff learn so much from the students. She especially values the students’ knowledge of computers!
Students who have nominated Jennifer for Pharmacist of the Year have stated, “Jennifer is a fantastic preceptor, an awesome pharmacist, and a fabulous person. Jennifer is a wonderful teacher and mentor, very personable and knowledgeable, encouraging, patient, a good teacher, and she makes you feel like a part of their group. She is someone I admire and the kind of pharmacist I aspire to be someday.” Jennifer connects with her students in many ways which include having lunch with them every day, attending hospital activities with students and taking them to activities outside of the hospital such as home town football games. Her dedication and attention to students is certainly appreciated by them and does not go unnoticed.
Jennifer loves having students on rotations. Her positive attitude and dedication to showing students even everyday tasks help students to learn and gives her a new perspective on the profession of pharmacy. As she so astutely put it, “The things we do as pharmacists are new to them (the students) even though they are routine for us”. Showing students what pharmacists do and how to interact with others in the healthcare team is critical to the students’ learning. An added bonus is that it also benefits the preceptor who then keeps engaged in their job and their role as a mentor.
Return to Past Preceptors of the Year Page