Requesting slots is only half the battle. Next you need to make sure you get and fill the slots you’re offered and target your resources to get the slots you aren’t offered.

Here are our best tips for managing slots to maximize your students’ clinical experience and minimize your stress in the process.

Keep or scan the original offer.

Keep meticulous records. A slot lost in the shuffle is a lost opportunity for this year as well as a reason for sites not to offer you slots for next year. Track all your slots and reward your sites for offering them.

Confirm slots right away. If you have a software system, this is easily done. Otherwise, send an individual email.

Make sure to track site-specific requirements to avoid surprises down the line.

Make sure to fill slots that were hard to get.

Let tech help you. Let’s face it. Clinical education is partially about a million details. And our brains have a limit to how much they can handle. Luckily, technology does not. Seek tech solutions to these problems. To do lists. Spreadsheets. Specialized software and applications.

Follow up smart—not desperate. Clin Ed programs manage so many site relationships. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Develop tools to help you target who to contact and when. If you have a Clinical Education Management system, then these tools are likely built into your system. But if you don’t, you may have to develop them yourself.

  • Total Slots Report: A report that tells you current counts, settings, and other details
  • Annual Slot Offerings Comparison Report: Tells you who offered slots last year but not this year.
  • Call Me Later: Tells you who doesn’t know yet, but might offer slots in the future
  • Session & Setting Distribution Report: Tells you if you have the right slots available for your student population.

Focus your follow-ups on sites that have offered slots in the past and sites who offer slots in the settings you really need.

Unused slots? See if you can turn them into slots you do need. Instead of just cancelling slots you can’t use, why not ask if the site would be able to take a student for either another session or another type of slot. We know everyone wants the third years but the first years not so much. But you work on your site relationships for a reason. Call in favors where it makes sense.

May the odds be ever in your favor!