Hello Everyone! I am a new nurse...with a little over 1 yrs worth of experience on a med-surg unit. Anyway...I have a question for all the seasoned preceptors out there. I was wondering if any of you have any tips/websites to look at as far as how to be a good preceptor and what things to teach...that kind of stuff. I know how NOT to be (simply d/t past experiences in nursing school) But I guess I was wondering what has helped you with precepting (your first time). To be honest...I NEVER wanted to be a preceptor...and I actually asked to be used as a last resort...but apparently they like me. So...yes I'm flattered but I do not feel ready to precept (as I'm still learning myself) and honestly don't know if I have the PATIENCE for it. I guess I just like to have control over my patients...to know that things are getting done...this is going to be hard for me. And as much as I would like to...refusing is not an option...any advice out there for me???? Thanks and have a good night!
Oct 26, '05
If you don't feel comfortable precepting, tell them you won't do it. I know a lot of places have relatively new nurses precepting, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. A preceptor is supposed to be a mentor, someone who really has things down pat who is a good role model - while someone who's only worked for a year is more like a peer to a new nurse than a mentor. Then again, I work in an ICU and we don't have anyone precept until they've been with us 2 years, but more often than not we try and have preceptors with 5+ years of experience.
Is there a very high turnover on your floor, or are there many other nurses there with more experience than you?
Oct 26, '05
I'm in the military...so unfortunately you can't just tell them you won't do something...they won't have any of that. My floor is comprised of MOSTLY new nurses with the exception of a few seasoned nurses who are captains (4 of them)...and 2 of the 4 work on night shift...so their options are somewhat limited for preceptors....which is the reason I'm in the position I'm in. I do agree with you on preceptors as mentors...with lots of experience...but then I remember working with a fairly new nurse when I first got here....and I did have a good experience...and did learn a lot from her....I just wish I had options. I think it will be a good learning experience...but I think it's probably gonna stress me out more than anything! Thanks for your reply!
Apr 4, '10
I think you will be fine as a preceptor. I attended a workshop not too long ago, and research shows that the best preceptors , are the ones with 1- 5 years experience.if you have more experience it is harder to remember how hard it is in the beginning and they have a hard time relating to new grads/ new staff in general.If you enjoy your work,are resourceful, positive and patient - you have nothing to worry about.There is quite abit of literature out there that can help you, too.
Apr 5, '10
I think the fact that you're asking questions and have concerns means you'll be a great preceptor. I love doing it and wish we had more new grads on the floor. Students are awesome too though. I'm about 5 years in and have been only been doing it for about a 6 months because it turned out that the nurses that were preceptors didn't really like doing it which I guess someone finally figured out. Patience and liking the job make a good preceptor. I ask them what they're comfortable with and what they'd like to get out of the day and then just go from there. It makes you feel great when someone gets it. I had a nursing student do her first cath perfectly on a feisty two-year old and I thought she might cry with happiness. It rocked!
Apr 5, '10
I'm not sure about web sites, but I think that the best thing is to just teach what you know and seek answers when you don't.
I, also am in a unique situation. For one, the RNs are really responsible for precepting students and new hires and the second is that I don't care to do it, either (I have been an LPN since 2006 working in clinics). However, one of the RNs told me that they always admired my organizational skills and eye for detail and feel that I can do just as good of a job in teaching as they can (which is a feather in my cap because it shows that I also have much to offer new nurses).
I would try it, at least for a little while. For one, it is a way to 'give back' to the profession because we all have to start somewhere. Since you are basically a new nurse yourself, you may automatically empathsize with their dilemmas and be better than you think. It is still a learning opportunity because now, you are learning to be a mentor or leader. This doesn't develop overnight.
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