Recognize Learners in Difficulty with the HEART Acronym

When you welcome students into your clinic, you expect to be able to orient them and proceed with their education relatively quickly. However, a student may show up with problems that other faculty have not identified yet. As a preceptor, you have the opportunity to identify a problem and help the student overcome it, and ultimately create a smoother path forward for both the student and yourself.

You can learn to recognize signal behaviors and underlying contributors by using the HEART Acronym, which stands for Health, Emotional well-being, Alcohol, Relationships, and Trustworthiness.

In the acronym, "Health" reminds you to pay attention to the student’s underlying physical health, whether that be an eating disorder, fatigue, or an overall disinterest in his or her own health. Remember, early identification and intervention is critical for positive outcomes. Consult your institution’s guidelines on what steps to take if you identify a learner in difficulty.

Read more about recognizing learners in difficulty here.

More About Learners in Difficulty

Visit the Learners in Difficulty section for more guidance on collaborating with a learner to prioritize, monitor, and meet goals. 

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