Hello, this is the first message I have posted in this forum. I would just like to ask peoples opinion. I have been working in the MICU at the University of Utah Hospital for almost a year. I have loved it so much and have gleaned so much knowledge. But, like most, I think that in order to really accelerate and take off as far as my knowledge and application goes I need to teach others.
I think that I am ready to start precepting students and orienting new nurses by my nurse manager just doesn't get it. I have told her that I would like to start doing this but she just kinda blows it off. I think that it is because I have been up front with her the whole time about the nurse anesthesia thing. I really don't think she wants to give me a chance because she knows that I'll be leaving for CRNA school. But I won't even be leaving for at least a year and a half!
What can I do to show my manager that I really want these teaching/leadership opportunities?
May 29, '04
A year in a MICU doesn't seem to me to be enough time to be a preceptor. If she's got people that are more experienced she will likely go with them. You could offer to provide inservices on new equipment or policies, though.
May 29, '04
I've been in the MICU for 8 months, and I don't feel ready to be a preceptor for new hires yet. I do enjoy precepting nursing students for a day or two, but I am not ready for the huge responsibility of teaching a new grad everything they need to know about critical care nursing. Being a preceptor is an enormous responsibility and a lot of hard work-- are you sure you are ready after just one year? I can't wait to be a preceptor too (I am also planning on CRNA school and I enjoy teaching) but I think that I still have a lot more learning to do myself.
May 29, '04
Our unit also has an education committee...it is a little less fly by the seat of your pants than precepting but allows you to research ideas, new and old topics, policies, machines, etc. and then teach them to the rest of your unit. I have found it helpful and fun. I also agree with picking up teaching or orienting for a day or a week or so...it is fun and not so time consuming as the whole three month orientation of teaching someone new the ins and outs of critical care nursing...start slow, prove to your NM that you can complete and teach in small steps an she/he will probably give you more chances.
Jul 9, '04
Bryant, not to be mean, but less than a year and you want to precept and orient new staff? I do not think a year is enough experience to precept new nurses. There are a lot of things you still don't know and likely won't a year from now. I have been an ICU nurse in a very large acdemic center for over seven years and still find things I don't know or come across things I have to ask someone else about. I think a good general timeline should be about two years at the earliest. By then you have a lot of varied experiences, and have the routines down pat.
I do applaud you in not choosing to run to CRNA school as soon as your year of experience is over. That is one thing that has always driven me nuts. A year is NOT enough experience with sick patients and drugs and codes and ECG's to be a CRNA, IMHO, You say that you will have been there 2 1/2 yrs prior to starting your program? That is a really good basis of knowledge and I think you will have a much easier time of it in CRNA school.
I really like the suggestion someone made about offering to do new equipment inservices. I have another suggestion: If you have an area of expertise or interest, you could offer to put together some presentations for the staff on whatever that area may be. Such as pain control in the ICU, or sedation modalities. Maybe you really like ventrics and neuro patients and could do a presentation on the care of ventrics, bolts and Codmans? Maybe ABG's made easy? This would show not only your manager, but your fellow staff that you are serious about teaching others and would also show that you have knowledge and expertise to share.
Good Luck to you!
Jul 9, '04
Four years after getting my BSN and 3-1/2 years after starting work on my unit, my nurse manager referred to me as a new grad during my yearly evaluation.
In ICU, if there is a pretty low turnover rate and you've got nurses who have been on the unit for years and years...it takes a long time for people to stop thinking of you as "the new person" or whatever.
That said, I'd never let anyone with less than 2 years experience precept anyone in an ICU setting. JMHO!!!
Jul 13, '04
do something more didactic like run a journal meeting, or get your ACLS instructor certification. we started a journal club at my old unit, and it was surprising how many people attended, experienced, newbies all had their contributions. check out the American Journal of Critical Care, or the AACN website they usually have a few helpful guidelines on getting one together.
if you are applying to crna school this will look good.
hope this helps
Jul 14, '04
I applaud your desire to do more. It is amazing how much more you learn from situations to which you may be very accustomed when you have to explain and discuss everything with someone else. Students keep you thinking.
However, as reflected in the opinions of previous replies, perhaps it is not your time to be precepting new hires. If you feel that you have a lot to offer in educating contemporaries, try teaching ACLS, PALS, and BLS. Keep an eye out for your facility's educational opportunities and what they have to offer for you to learn as well. Also, when I wanted to reach out a little I also started helping with hospital nursing orientation (the new nurses in the system), the part where we cover documentation, legalities, etc.
It will resonate better with your manager if he/she views you as someone who is "invested" in the unit, facility and their career and not just punching a clock. Best of Luck!
Jul 14, '04
I appreciate all of the constructive advice that you have all given. I feel compelled to express my feelings about everything. First of all, there is another nurse where I work that has been working in the same ICU (no previous ICU experience) for the exact equal time that I have been and she is starting to orient new nurses.
I consider myself equal to her, I don't know why she is getting the opportunity and I'm not. I'm just saying that I would like to be given a chance and I don't want to sit back and wait.