How Do I Become a Clinical Instructor?

Erik J.J. Goserud
Erik J.J. Goserud
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Clinical instructors are responsible for education and informing the future professionals that health care depends on. Like teachers, clinical instructors vary in background, experience, and skill. If you want to become a clinical instructor, you will probably need an education, experience in the field, and perhaps some teaching skills to boot.

Health care jobs vary. There are many people sick with many of illnesses; therefore, many professionals are needed to address the broad spectrum of health problems. A clinical instructor is needed in each of these situations, and they themselves should be able to provide effective curriculums to the eager minds of future nurses, doctors, and others in the medical field.

Any good teacher must know their information. For this reason, if you want to become a clinical instructor, the first step is to learn the material. Material can be learned through a formal education, and in the case of health care, official degrees and certifications are often required. Some fields do not require such regulation, but due to the personal and important nature of medicine, all professionals need proof of knowledge.

Sometimes, a bachelor's degree can give a person the medical experience he or she needs, whereas graduate school is required for other positions. Deciding in which capacity you want to become a clinical instructor and acquiring the related education will set you on your way for success in this important role. After obtaining a required level of education, experience should be the next step on your road to become a clinical instructor.

Field experience is important because an instructor needs to be able to relate to real-life situations. You can read about a person having a heart attack in a textbook, but until you can apply this information to the real world, book knowledge is not practical. The more experience, the better, but at least a few years is useful if you know that the ultimate career goal for you is to become a clinical instructor.

Teaching skills are probably the most overlooked aspect of clinical instruction. Even the most brilliant physician with decades of experience can do no good as a teacher unless he or she is able to communicate effectively. Teaching requires relating to students, articulating information clearly, and being able to dynamically change curriculums and styles according to the specific needs of students. If you can put all of these things in place, you will become a great clinical instructor capable of training the next generation of health care workers.

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