Lots of patience. Although we learned skills in nursing school
, it is so much different doing it on a "real" person the first few times.
Rationales behind the things we are doing. I know nursing is more than skill sets and tasks. That is the biggest thing I struggled with in the beginning. I am finally starting to connect the dots and see the big picture with my patients.
Introduce your preceptee to the other people on the unit. This is way more important than I ever realized. It is so hard being the new kid on the block, especially in a tight knit unit.
Constructive criticism and praise when it is deserved. Nothing kills confidence than constantly hearing the negativity..unless the new person is having major issues.
Allow the nurse to figure out things on their own, within reason. This builds a sense of confidence and strengthens the "nurse brain" as I call it. You know, our ability to store tons of facts in our brains at once.
Lead by example!
Please do not yell, demean, or show anger towards the new nurse. Yes, this happens!
Be friendly and approachable..this goes a long way. I never felt uncomfortable asking "stupid" questions of my preceptors because they wouldn't judge me for it. Well, maybe they did, but never showed it!