Preceptorship Help Please

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    Hello oncology nurses! I'm in my last semester or nursing school, I graduate this May. Becoming an oncology nurse is the reason I got into nursing. At first I thought I wanted to work in pediatric oncology but after my peds rotation in school I'm thinking I'll stick with adults!

    My question is about my preceptorship. By the end of the month I have to submit a request for which floor I want to precept on. I'm looking for some advice on what you all think is best in regards to learning and experience, plus what will increase my chances for hire on an oncology unit. My options are Med-Surg, ICU, or the Cardiac ICU. The cardiac floor does have some patients who receive chemotherapy, but that's not the majority.

    Should I take the experience with chemotherapy patients? Or am I better off in Med-Surg and ICU where I might not see any oncology patients? Thanks in advance.
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Quite honestly, it's a toss up. None of those floors are oncology specifically. Don't get me wrong--you will get great experience wherever you go, but it won't help you when it comes to Onc specifically.

    If I were you (and this is just my 2 cents) I'd do med surg. The floor I was on used to get med-surg overflow all the time, so while med-surg may not be your desired specialty, it will 1) help sharpen your nursing skills in general and 2) prepare you for patients who aren't oncology patients that you may easily see someday when you're on an oncology ward.

    Best of luck!
    OCNRN63 likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from lolaviex
    Hello oncology nurses! I'm in my last semester or nursing school, I graduate this May. Becoming an oncology nurse is the reason I got into nursing. At first I thought I wanted to work in pediatric oncology but after my peds rotation in school I'm thinking I'll stick with adults!

    My question is about my preceptorship. By the end of the month I have to submit a request for which floor I want to precept on. I'm looking for some advice on what you all think is best in regards to learning and experience, plus what will increase my chances for hire on an oncology unit. My options are Med-Surg, ICU, or the Cardiac ICU. The cardiac floor does have some patients who receive chemotherapy, but that's not the majority.

    Should I take the experience with chemotherapy patients? Or am I better off in Med-Surg and ICU where I might not see any oncology patients? Thanks in advance.
    Why isn't an oncology floor an option?

    A cardiac ICU that occasionally gets a patient on chemo probably wouldn't help you stand out much from any other applicant as far as oncology is concerned. It's unlikely that any floor would allow a student to administer chemotherapy as there are special classes/trainings you need to take as a nurse to be able to do this.

    I'd go with either Med-Surg or the General ICU as it will give you more diverse experience. Cardiac ICU isn't bad experience but it would help you more land a job in cardiology after school.
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    If oncology was an option I'd say do it but since it's not I'd do the icu. When are you ever going to get that experience? You will learn a ton!
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    I agree with the posters who said to chose med-surg, for the reasons already stated,
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    We precept students on our Onc/ heme unit all the time and ppl have got hired right after. Gone are the days when you needed med surg experience first. I started on an Onc/BMT unit out of nursing school. So it depends on the hospital and hiring policies.
  9. 0
    Thank you all for the replies! The reason oncology wasn't an option is only because we were given a very small list to choose from and it simply wasn't one of the options. However, I did ask the instructor in charge of assigning us if there was an oncology option and she told me she'd look into it for me. I think they're pretty flexible if they can find someone willing to precept me.

    Meanwhile, I submitted my request for Med-Surg. If anything, I want to work on my organization, time management, skills and charting.

    Thanks again for the input!


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