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Any tips for precepting new staff?

Ob/Gyn   (6,876 Views 5 Comments)
by Mrs.S Mrs.S (Member) Member

Mrs.S has 4 years experience and specializes in postpartum, nursery, high risk L&D.

1,517 Profile Views; 129 Posts

Hello,

My manager approached me the other day and asked if I would precept one of our new nurses. I was totally jazzed about it at first but the more I think about it the more apprehensive I am becoming, because I have never precepted anyone and I just really want to do a good job for this new nurse! I had an AWESOME preceptor when I started and I think that makes such a huge difference.

Anyway, we do LDRP, and this person is not a new grad, just new to OB. (but I think she is a fairly new nurse as well) She has been working days with a different preceptor for the first half of her orientation and now she will be with me on nights, since that's when she will be working once she's off of orientation. Also worth noting is that there is not much structure to the way new staff are oriented; they get 12 weeks and it's largely up to the preceptors to figure out how to make sure they learn everything that they should (I would love to get a group going to work on that BTW!)

I hope someone's got some input! SmilingBlueEyes, you always have something wise to add...;)

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

2 Followers; 19,577 Posts; 65,250 Profile Views

I think structure is SO important in precepting new graduates and employees and lacks in most places that also lack organized residency programs for them. I would start by seeing what all this new employee has been taught and let her demonstrate her knowledge to you while you back her up. Make sure she is aware of policies/procedures and RATIONALES for the things you do in every way. Ask lots of questions, like, when, how, why, do we do these things and what are potential outcomes, etc. I do this to guage how much the new employee knows when I have to pick up orienting someone who has been with us a while and am unsure what she has done or not done. I also ask her how comfortable she is doing each task and watch to see how it's done. If she appears at all unsure or lacks confidence, I will basically almost start from scratch and take her through the task in an organized way, again, explaining all rationales for why/how I do things and what policy states to back me up.

Even though this person is not a new nurse, OB is a new world for her, and in some ways, it will be a lot like having a new grad to work with. The good thing will be, experienced nurses have solid background in pathophysiology and medical-surgical information that is so helpful on OB. But don't assume too much; make sure she is comfortable before being set free on any task/patient assignment. The biggest challenges are to realize birth is a HEALTHY process, meaning inappropriate or ill-advised/excessive interventions can harm what is a normal event------- and that there are TWO patients in your care simultaneously and what you do for one, can be a problem for the other. Fetal heart monitoring is usually also a pretty big challenge for most nurses new to OB, so make sure she is comfortable reading many various strips/patterns. This can only come with time and experience, as you know.

This is most important: Your unit SHOULD have a new orientee checklist. If there is one, see where she is on that checklist, as hopefully, SOMEBODY has been certifiying and checking her off as she has gone along. If not, get hold of one, and start from there, checking off tasks as she does them for you. You may find she knows quite a lot and you will breeze through it. Or, you may find she lacks a lot. Either way, you have a great basis on which to start your orientation of the new employee and go from there.

If your unit lacks a new orientee checklist, it is very important to get one together to provide solid structure for future new graduates and employees. This is the best way to document what they know and who taught them, and when----and the new employee should feel this is an accurate reflection of her skill achieved on the unit, as well.

I sure do hope this helps. If you have more questions please ask. Good luck to you.

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Mrs.S has 4 years experience and specializes in postpartum, nursery, high risk L&D.

129 Posts; 1,517 Profile Views

thank you SO much, that does help a lot.

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Elvish is a BSN, DNP, RN, NP and specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

3 Followers; 17 Articles; 5,259 Posts; 66,119 Profile Views

Does your hosp have a class on precepting? Ours does and everybody that's going to precept has to take it.

I'm not gungho about precepting just yet for the reasons you mentioned in your post. I want a little more experience for myself too before trying to share that w/ someone else.

Seems like SBE always knows what to say! Wish you the best!

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Mrs.S has 4 years experience and specializes in postpartum, nursery, high risk L&D.

129 Posts; 1,517 Profile Views

There is a preceptor workshop a few times a year; they had one not too long ago and I actually did think about signing up for it for a second or two. then I thought to myself, "they aren't going to want me to precept anyone yet..." so I didn't.

In an ideal world I probably wouldn't be orienting anyone...I've only been doing LDRP for 2 years and Mom/Baby for 2 years before that. but she will be working nights and there is just not a ton of experienced staff on that shift that can do it right now.

thanks for your thoughts.

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