Becoming a Preceptor


Program Effectiveness

Instructional Skills


Preceptor Training Workshop - Interpersonal Skills and Communications

Osmo Wiio and Murphy's law (Osmo Wiio, Wiio's Laws--and Some Others (Espoo, Finland: Welin-Goos, 1978):

  • If communication can fail, it will.
  • If a message can be understood in different ways, it will be understood in just that way which does the most harm.
  • There is always somebody who knows better than you what you meant by your message.
  • The more communication there is, the more difficult it is for communication to succeed.

In the years that I have administrated the athletic training education program at Union, we have observed very few misunderstandings, altercations or mishaps between clinical instructors and students. For the most part, all of our students have very much appreciated the efforts, guidance and direction of the ACI's who in turn have been gracious enough to give back their time and efforts to students. Granted, some students are better than others. Some students are more engaged, more appreciative, and more effective in the field than others, but for the most part the relations that have been built in the past years have been both productive and rewarding. The vast majority, if not all situations that have presented have been the result of miscommunication. Words are often misinterpreted. Body language is interpreted as intimidating or threatening. Simply put, communication is vital to successful teaching and mentoring, and miscommunication often makes teaching and mentoring difficult at best. Your knowledge and ability to manage your interpersonal communications with the student will always make the clinical experience a better learning experience for the student and a more rewarding experience for you.

Allyn and Bacon offer a short tutorial on interpersonal communications. Click on the link and take a few minutes and review the tutorial. I promise it will add to your experience with the athletic training students.