Being a good Preceptor - a question for Students

  1. Hey everyone..

    Just a general question. I have been fortunate enough to preceptor a student for thier final clinical preceptorship - 340 hours. I was looking for some insight as to how to be an effective preceptor. ie. What do you expect in a preceptor etc... Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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    Joined: May '04; Posts: 78; Likes: 1


  3. by   Still Riding
    I will be finishing my final clinical this winter and although I don't know who my preceptor will be this is what I hope it will be like.

    -I hope that she is understanding that I am learning and guides me appropratly
    -I hope that she challenges me, I want to learn and become a better nurse
    -I hope she doens't swamp me, although I would lie to be challenged I don't want to be drowning and feeling like I can never do it
    -I hope she is supportive and teaches me during the rotation, I want to learn

    that is all i can think of right now and i have to run to class
    I'm sure others will add some really god points I don't know about

    but jsut the fact that you care and wanting to be a good preceptor will make you a great one.

  4. by   bigmona
    encourage the student to ask questions, but also quiz him/her with questions to encourage critical thinking. allow the student to do things hands on. i know this one seems obvious but my last semester of school with my preceptor was awful because she never let me do anything. i felt ill prepared to be a nurse when i graduated. also, try to give positive feedback and encouragement.

    i'm sure you will be a great preceptor- just the fact that you asked this question shows you care about doing a good job and providing a meaningful learning experience for the student.
  5. by   Blee O'Myacin
    on a new job as an RN, which is so vastly different than my GN and student experiences.

    - Let the orientee actually do the task, even if they are not quite as efficient as you are. You will be doing simple things like putting meds into a PEG, drawing up syringes, spiking IV bags or charting I/O's and it will take a long time at first.

    - My GN preceptor was a genius. She made me the nurse that I am today. First, she guided me through the daily routine. Then she slowly stepped back until she was reading a book at the nurses station, asking me "What can I do for you? I'm bored." When we started clashing on "no, I don't want to chart at 0900, I'd rather do it at 1100 when I am done with X, Y, and Z" - I knew I was ready to be out on my own. Even after I was well on my own, if I needed anything, she was a great resource and a good friend.

    - My preceptor now is probably frustrated with me since I am going from an entirely computer run system to one where we are half on paper and half on computer. So most of my days have been spent making heads or tails out of the deluge of paperwork! (Make sure you show your preceptee how to do all that and let him or her do the documentation - that you cosign of course!)

    Good luck and good for you taking on someone who is just starting out.

  6. by   mom2michael
    I had a horrible time with my PCAII position (which is similar to a preceptorship) but it was a paid experience, so I had the option to leave and I did.

    My biggest complaint which is what the entire situation horrible for me - I was lied to from the beginning and treated horribly by the staff. I wasn't (in their eyes) there to learn - I was there to do all the work they didn't want to do that day. They also had zero respect for me and made nasty comments about how "I was just a stupid nursing school student who didn't know anything at all". They would make fun of me for asking questions and talk about me in the break room about how I was just in their way all the time. Everyday my job description would change. I was never assigned to one nurse, I would bounce around all day long to whoever. Sometimes no one could tolerate a student for the day - so I was the U/S all day. It was a mess. It wasn't a good experience for me and later I found out this unit doesn't normally take ANY students and I figured out why. They got a new NM about a month before I was hired and I truly believe he thought they weren't that mean to students. He has since called and emailed me and even wrote me a letter telling me how sorry he was for my experience there.

    So - as long as you don't do any of the should be an awesome preceptor!!!
  7. by   Smiley6
    Please don't let your orientee drown! My preceptor let this happen to "teach a lesson." Meds got missed, it was an awful experience! Be on top of your orientee without questioning every little thing that he/she is doing! Best of luck!
  8. by   JRN72
    My preceptor was sooo terrific...always looking for variety ("We've had enough neuros, I want to get an MI for you to work on"), so I would have lots of experiences. Asked just enough questions that I would always be thinking, and critically, but not so many I felt on the spot all.the.time. She encouraged me to go do my own research, then come back and discuss. Also, as mentioned by mom2michael, she was my mother hen always protecting my from some of her ruder peers. As a student, you are kind of in a place where you can't really stand up for yourself in an effective way if there are staff members treating you like crap. She definately had me under her wing, and as a senior staff member with loads more experience than most of her peers, and as a person not afraid to say what she thought, lol, I was protected. She also did not allow for them to "find the student" when they just had some crappy thing they didn't want to do. As she pointed out, "You have a limited time here. Cleaning somebody up is not the best use of your learning time. I know you know how and I know you are the best use of your time is assisting with this balloon pump removal." I loved her:redpinkhe
  9. by   LouisVRN
    First and foremost you will have to tailor your precepting to your preceptee or it will not be a good experience. If your preceptee is ready to leap in the deep end of the pool and they're not ready you'll have to reign them in, but if they want to stand in the corner and watch a zillion times there comes a time when you need to tell them they have to DO it. Test their critical thinking ask "why are we doing this" about everything. Ask them to come up with alternatives for everything, if the patient refuses to ambulate, what would you encourage them to do. Don't assume they know anything. Seek out learning opportuities that are rare, congratulate and encourage them when they do things well and support them when they make mistakes.