Preceptor Insight: Tanya Snodgrass

Tanya Snodgrass, preceptor at Gritman Medical Center

Preceptors play a critical role in the education of the next generations of health care providers. They are an indispensable part of any pharmacy school.

At the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, faculty and volunteer preceptors are practicing pharmacists who supervise student pharmacists in clinical settings, where students gain experience working with real patients. Through teaching and mentorship, preceptors play a critical role in shaping a student’s future career.

Each issue of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Preceptor Highlights features a preceptor for WSU students, to take a closer look at who they are and why they do what they do. The following is the feature of Tanya Snodgrass at Gritman Medical Center from June 15, 2020.

What motivated you to become a preceptor?
There were many people, in my journey to becoming a pharmacist, that were truly inspiring. I had the opportunity to work with amazing preceptors when I was a student. These preceptors were passionate about their patients and the profession of pharmacy. To this day, they continue to have an influence on my career and how I think about the profession of pharmacy. They were my inspiration for becoming a preceptor.

What is one “ah ha” moment you had while precepting?
I had forever believed that you could not teach people to care. I felt that it was one of those unteachable qualities that students either had, or they didn’t. I had an “ah-ha” moment when I realized that some students, who didn’t seem to care, just didn’t understand their value. They didn’t know how important they were to the patient care team. Helping students understand their value would often change their outlook on the entire rotation. You can’t teach people to care, however, you can show them that they are valuable. Sometimes, that makes all the difference.

Do you have a memory of a notable success or positive experience you had with a student?
I had a student that was terrified to go on codes, however he was very interested in pursuing a career in hospital pharmacy. We had an amazing opportunity for him to participate in a region wide trauma drill. The drill involved ambulance teams from several towns, law enforcement, Life Flight, and coordination with several hospitals. After participating in the all-day drill, he was no longer afraid to go on codes. He now thrives in high intensity codes as a pharmacist. This was a huge transformation in his outlook on code situations.

You can learn more about precepting at the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences on our Preceptors & Resources webpage.