Hey preceptors, how did a student impress you?


Hello!  I'm about to start my preceptorship on L&D, and I really want to snag a job on this unit.  I think I am generally friendly, helpful, and ask a lot of questions.  I realize I don't have total control over what happens, but I want to do my best to show that I really will make a great addition to the team.  What have your preceptees done that really impressed you and made you want them to get hired?  What are the biggest DON'Ts?  Thanks in advance.


15 Posts

Has 11 years experience.

Being friendly, helpful and asking questions as you mentioned sound like great qualities to have. I am excited for you!

The most impressive thing a novice nurse can do in L&D world is come prepared with knowledge on the most up-to-date practice guidelines from AWHONN/ACOG. Ask where the unit SOPs or CPGs are, and compare them.

Another really impressive thing is demonstrating self-control and confidence when there is something you are competent in. A 'don't' for this is don't wait to be invited to do anything- ask or offer to do things (your assessment, your labs, plan of care, etc). 

Having a binder or clipboard with major points to refer to or ask questions about in a debrief or post conference is good- nurses normally don't like to stay later than they need to but if someone demonstrates passion, they will spend the extra time to explain things.

Take ACLS, PALS, NRP, ALSO and advanced fetal monitoring to advance your skills if you haven't already. Know your protocols for massive transfusions/shoulder distocia/ birth emergencies.

Some other helpful don'ts:

Don't feel bad/ashamed that you are new- many but not all laboring women do not like students but the important thing is to be honest and build a relationship if they allow it. 

Don't come unprepared. Labor and Delivery- 'labor' means work- so you need to eat, sleep, stay hydrated, exercise, be alert, ready and willing to work if you choose this specialty. Lots of calories are burned during a shift- especially if the patient doesn't have a support person or doula. Your cortisol and adrenaline will be skyrocketing all the time, so you need a self-care plan.

Don't be lazy. Most nurses including new nurses aren't inherently lazy, but it can get tiring or overwhelming going into a stressful environment so early in the day or late at night-you may see other nurses over time not be as active or involved with their patients but do not be fooled- as a new nurse everyone will expect you to be constantly in the patient's rooms, and taking interest in the most complicated or unusual patients.

Don't be afraid to speak up. You see anything concerning on the monitor, in the chart/labs/ something a patient says/ abnormal assessment finding, you are expected to intervene and communicate appropriately. But very important- do it respectfully- don't take an us versus them mentality when it comes to working with doctors or midwives, everyone is on the same team.

Be extra careful with TOLAC, ECVs, and inductions. 

Good luck!