Becoming a Clinical Instructor

While there continues to be medical schools, there will always be a need for clinical instructors to train students how to perform the tasks required for them when they become professionals.

If you hold a medical degree and had spent considerable time practicing your profession, you may consider becoming a clinical instructor.

Qualifications of a Clinical Instructor

Clinical instructors are needed in a variety of medical fields to train students how to perform the tasks required for the particular profession they want to have a degree in. Clinical instructors are needed in nursing, physical therapy, dentistry, medicine, psychiatry, among others. The specific requirements to become a clinical instructor vary according to the profession and the university or college one wishes to apply with, but in general they require: a relevant degree (and license to practice) in the field that one wishes to teach, related work experience, and oftentimes an advanced degree.

Technical proficiency and extensive experience in the profession, however, aren't the only requirements needed to become an effective clinical instructor. It also takes good communication skills, enough planning and techniques. That is why, it is often an edge if, aside from a relevant degree in nursing or physical therapy, prospective instructors take courses in education to help them learn how to prepare lessons well, how to conduct a class, and how to monitor and evaluate a student's progress. Aside from logging on years of practice, one can also add to his qualifications by participating in ongoing education programs. Also, continue to learn by reading books that are specially written for those who teach clinical procedures.

One can also get a teaching experience even without enrolling in an education course. He can participate in community-based programs that would allow him to teach topics like proper nutrition, weight control, or disease preventive tips, etc. But one can also teach even if he doesn't have a supporting course in education that would have exposed him to a semester performing the role of a teacher. For example, if he is a nurse with a long track record of practice, he can apply as an adjunct -- to work with student nurses in purely clinical settings.

Pursuing a Career in Clinical Instruction

When starting a career in clinical instruction, the jobs one may get at first are part-time positions in community colleges or local universities. One may become an associate first, before becoming a full-fledged professor. It is a good way to gauge whether teaching is really one’s interest and whether the persons has the patience necessary to carry on the tasks of mentoring medical students and doing the necessary paperwork. He often would have to spend extra time outside clinical hours to grade tests, and projects. A clinical instructor can earn between $60,000 and $80,000. Salary for clinical instructors varies according to experience.



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