preceptors?

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    What do you look for in your new grad orientees? Pet peeves?

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  2. 17 Comments...

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    Good question. I would like some input too. One thing I hear a lot of preceptors say is they don't like new grads who think they know it all. I firmly believe that the reality is that maybe a new grad is simply trying to appear confident but its misinterpreted
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    The worst orientee is one who thinks they know it all. The best orientee is one who knows what they don't know.
    Lev <3 likes this.
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    I look for a willingness to learn, and to LOOK AT YOUR PATIENT FIRST. I also look for the professionalism - are you focused on the job at hand, or looking for any little minute to check your d@mned phone? I also look for attention to detail - do you take the drug out of PYXIS and not look at the label to be certain it is what it is supposed to be? Because THAT is not gonna fly.
    Pet peeve? Arguing with every single thing I tell you. (It's happened, this guy would argue about what time it was and what color the sky. I don't drink - but I almost started!) I'm OK with a respectful sharing of ideas - provided you know what you're talking about.

    Geez - I sound like a cranky old bat! Honest, I'm a lot of fun if you just pay attention!
    IowaKaren, prnqday, SoldierNurse22, and 1 other like this.
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    bump bump
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    Always carry alcohol pads in your pocket, don't talk over me, and just because you don't want 6 patients on Med Surge, doesn't mean you are ready for the ICU.
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    I look for someone who wants to fit in with our staff. I know I've told this story before, but there was the brand new grad on her very first day in our ICU who plopped herself down next to me and announced "All the male nurses on this unit are immoral." She didn't fit in with our staff -- her notions of morality and immorality were very important to her and she was quite inflexible -- and vocal -- about it. The gay, transgendered, divorced and unmarried yet sexually active staff were all on her radar. Not a comfortable situation.

    I look for someone dependable. If you're on the schedule, we're expecting you to be there. Even if it snows, if there's a hurricane coming or your best friend's 21st birthday party is happening. Our manager tries to match the orientee's schedule to the preceptors for the best orientation experience. Sometimes there are very real reasons that can't happen -- your sister is getting married or your grandfather is getting buried. But if you have too many scheduling requests, that's a red flag. Multiple scheduling requests and then complaining about having multiple preceptors is a bigger red flag. Multiple scheduling requests and expecting ME to accomodate YOUR preferred schedule is the biggest red flag of all . . . except for that new grad who had her father call the manager and threaten her job if his daughter didn't get "a better schedule" that didn't include nights, weekends or holidays.

    I look for someone who listens and pays attention. I understand that you're anxious . . . and remember vividly how anxious I was when I was new. Sometimes you're just too nervous or excited to pay attention. But I expect that when you settle in, you'll be paying attention to what I'm trying to teach you and not telling me what your clinical instructor taught you.

    The new grad who thinks he or she knows everything is my biggest pet peeve.
    imintrouble, prnqday, SoldierNurse22, and 1 other like this.
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    Every preceptee is different and I try to respect that. I look for a basic level of attention to detail and pride in a job well done. I like to precept those who have learned the information, but just need to get the experience to go with it. I like those who know their limits and when to push past them. I like to precept people who understand that teamwork is essential, asking questions is good, and communicating their needs in a respectful manner gets the job done.

    I like precepting people who want to make the unit their home, in their own unique way.
    Lev <3 and imintrouble like this.
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    As far as pet peeves go, I would say talking over me would be one of them! There was a new grad that would get stressed out, and instead of calmly asking for help she would just get flustered, yell at patients, and talk over nurses who were trying to help her out. She stressed everyone out... not good for the unit vibe!
    Lev <3 likes this.
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    As far as what I look for... if they take initiative to do things on their own, that is great! New grads are not in nursing school anymore, so they shouldn't need you to check off every single medication before administering them to the pt. I am totally happy to help with new skills, or answer questions, but taking initiative to do things shows that you are becoming competent on your own. With that said, if a new nurse, or any nurse for that matter, is not comfortable with something... always get a second opinion to prevent an error from happening.
    Lev <3 likes this.


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