Working with a preceptor

  1. This is my first posting in this area. I am a new or was a new grad in May. Passed my boards in August and have currently started working. We just did two weeks of orientation (classroom stuff). This week will be my first full week on the floor.

    I've worked a few hours following my preceptor around and getting used to the unit. I am on a floor that has a variety of patients. It's med surg. But the employees refer to it as the dumping ground. Many of the patients are renal and there is a dialysis unit right on this floor.

    But Im curious about how others have worked out with their preceptors. I really like mine. Im wondering when is it time to take the jump and start taking on a patient? I don't want it to take to long but I want to be comfortable with my surroundings. I will be working 24 plus hours a week with her.

    What are some of your experiences with starting out?

    E
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   JentheRN05
    My first week, first day I was assisting. Second day I took on a patient of my own and assisted with my preceptors. It just continued to grow as I went along. They always asked me if I was ready for more, and I would be honest. I think if you have completed your first week without taking on a patient I am shocked. But if so, next week you should attempt to take on a patient (as long as your comfortable). Just MHO.
  4. by   Chiefy
    Thanks for the reply. We'll give it a go. This will be my first real week. Last week we did three days of classroom and we're only on the floor twice for like two or three hours.

    I just wasn't sure what to do. My thought is I want to jump in with both feet but have a fear of crashing. I guess I just have to tell myself this is what we're going to do.

    Thank you though! I think I just needed to hear it from someone else.
  5. by   sunbeach73
    Chiefy, where you are working sounds exactly like the floor I have been hired to work on. I don't start until Oct 9th. I have been very nervous about starting as I am a brand new nurse myself. This post actually gave me a bit of relief! Thanks for posting what was on my mind as well! I hope everything goes well for you.
  6. by   Chiefy
    Best wishes to you! I really feel like Im going to like it. Im very excited about working. I got my first paycheck this week and was beside myself.

    I want to make sure I have the proper training and support. Im not sure if she (my preceptor) has done this before. Didn't ask her yet. But I wanted to make sure I should be kind of pushing at the same time. Don't want to set off the wrong signal as being to intimidated or to aggressive. If you know what Im saying. Does that make sense?
  7. by   willdgate
    Learn alot, ask questions, It does not matter how stupid you think the questions may be.
  8. by   sunbeach73
    Quote from Chiefy
    I got my first paycheck this week and was beside myself.
    I'm guessing you are an RN? The pay they offered me as an LPN actually puts a sour taste in my mouth, but I was rejected everywhere else for a job and figured I may as well accept this position for the experience. I'll tough it out for a year and see how it goes. Good luck to you. Yes, you do make sense. I've got the same fear myself. I would like to get someone who is experienced as far as precepting goes. This way I don't start out with 5 patients two days in or the other way around, being that orientation is over and I don't have more than two patients!
  9. by   rn undisclosed name
    From reading the posts above it sounds to me like you're doing what you should be for just starting. You said you've only been on the floor for a couple of hours. If you're only on the floor for a couple of hours it's really hard to take on your own patients unless you're there for the whole day. If you're scheduled for a complete day then you should start taking on patients.

    I just finished my 8th week of orientation and I'm up to 4 patients (I will eventally have to be able to take 5). I had a day this week where I only took 2 patients because I went into a meeting for an hour. My preceptor had already started seeing the patients cause there was no way she was going to this meeting because an hour meeting can really set your day behind. So when I got back I just saw the 2 patients she hadn't seen yet plus she helped me out with my 1 patient cause there was a lot of stuff going on with her and I had never had that type of patient yet.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that yes you should be working on getting a patient when you are on the floor for the whole day (not just a couple of hours here and there). As you work more you'll start being on the floor more. When you first start there's so much to get up to speed on so enjoy the more relaxed pace while you're learning where everything is. Nothing is worse than working at full speed and not knowing where things are. I hope I helped (at least some).

    Kelly
  10. by   AB_NormalRN
    Uhh.....bad experiences with my first preceptor and unfortunately set the stage with my second preceptor. In the hospital I work at I was placed with a preceptor who just left me alone to do my own thing. So for 6 weeks (my choice I know) I kept giving her the benefit of the doubt and hoping things would turn around. It didn't and we used to clash all the time. Not a good fit works well here! Her previous preceptee quit working after 3 weeks I was told later on. I became very frustrated and almost left working at the hospital. So those people who wonder why new grads leave after 2-3 months please take care of us. We are who will be taking care of you when it comes time. I was given a second preceptor who was very, very capable and cared a lot. She used to drive me like crazy to get me up to speed....but it was no use. I was not prepared and was so frustrated...and like others have said the ER is is not a place to start, nor is it the place to learn new skills, the Docs, new computer charting programs, etc. all at the same time!! My suggestion is that to take care of your patients and be the best nurse you can be....if you are not getting what you should be? Talk with your NM and find a new preceptor. Just like finding a good job, finding your niche' in nursing...finding the right preceptor is important. After this was driven home to me during the first 6 weeks of my 3rd career (once retired) I will move to another floor and if that doesn't work? A new hospital until I find my niche' and a good preceptor.

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