Beth Watson Sharp
Texas Health Resources
Preceptor for the Davies School of Communication Sciences & Disorders
What made you want to become a preceptor?
I knew I wanted to supervise students, but the opportunity came to me when I was hired at Harris Methodist in 1995. My first graduate student was from TCU. She was the perfect first student: sweet, easy-going and smart.
Did you have a preceptor that inspired you as a student?
My preceptor at the Bowan Rehab Center in Chicago inspired me from my first day with her; I remember evaluating a patient with her during my first week. He had Wernicke’s aphasia and she asked me, “Do you think he needs therapy?” I remember saying, “I don’t know if he is appropriate.” I was definitely a new graduate student! Ellen, my supervisor, had a good laugh and showed me how to treat this patient and many others. One of the patients I treated with her was the subject of my case presentation required for graduation.
How long have you served as a preceptor for TCU?
I have been a preceptor for TCU graduates for 23 years. I continue to serve as a preceptor because supervising graduate students is rewarding and important to our profession. Students motivate me to keep current on all new research and to teach them the significance of documenting skilled evidence-based therapeutic intervention.
How do you promote professional growth and development with your students?
I start orientation with each student by letting them know that I tend to exceed ASHA supervision requirements. I don’t let them observe but a day or two, then I have them start the sessions as I guide them through the initial ones.
What do you feel is the most challenging and the most rewarding part of your role as a preceptor?
At times, we have patients who only want to be treated by the speech pathologist and not a student. I make a point of stating in the beginning of each new encounter that our department is a teaching program and most people are receptive to it.
Seeing students grow confident in their skills such as successful interpretation of an MBS with accurate diet recommendations, having a graduate student who shares my passion for helping people with Parkinson’s disease and definitely the student’s thank you cards – some are so eloquent and appreciative that I just want to cry. I keep all of them!
Edited for length and AP Style.