More preceptorship

Nurses General Nursing


I don't post much but have really enjoyed keeping up on all of the threads. I was wondering if any of you felt like you needed more one on one preceptorship/orientation time than your hospital gave you? I graduated in May and have been working on a pediatric and orthopedic floor. I got 4 full weeks of preceptorship as a "nurse tech" before I took boards and then 2 weeks of someone checking my medications and things once I passed boards. Now that it is winter and we are MUCH busier, I feel compleetly overwhelmed. On Friday we were so busy that I forgot about something that they told us in report and it got overlooked. I want to be a safe nurse and am considering asking my manager for more preceptorship time but I don't know how she will react since I've been there since June and working as an RN since mid Aug. I don't want it to look like I'm lazy and just can't handle the busy season but I'm just concerned that I will miss something or make a mistake with such a demanding patient load if I don't get more help. What do you all reccomend? Thanks for all your advice!



1,024 Posts

It's better to be honest rather than to risk patient safety. Maybe you should talk to other nurses on your floor on how they keep it all straight. Personally, I highlight anything that needs to be done or meds that need to be given. Then, I have a little sheet that has the hours listed and I transfer it quick. I may only have time to write the room # by the hour, but at least I know that I have to do something with her at that time. Make yourself a little cheatsheet that you can just keep copying everyday. Some nurses I know have a sheet that has just about everything that we have to do on the floor. She highlights all the things she has to do everyday and writes the time next to it. Hope these ideas help!


Tweety, BSN, RN

33,501 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Ask for more time if you feel you need it.

But remember, there are going to be those days when you are overwhelmed. It took me a full year before I felt like I had my act together to function as a safe an effective nurse.

I hope I'm not sounding condescending here, but you are sounding just like a new grad! Best wishes!


859 Posts

I agree that you should ask for more time if you feel you need it. However, even if your manager refuses, I would encourage you to find one or two experienced nurses on the unit to mentor you for the next 6 months or so. Could be the nurses who precepted you before, could be someone else--doesn't matter, as long as they like to teach and are supportive. Go to them with specific questions during your shift and ask for help in prioritizing/organizing your care when you start feeling overwhelmed.

I also agree with 3rdShift that feeling overwhelmed is not an unusual state of mind for a new grad. However, sometimes, through oversight or sheer necessity, new grads get assignments that are really not safe or apppropriate for them. I definitely saw this as an ICU preceptor, and had to intervene with the charge nurse to get the assignments changed. If you feel this might be the case, ever, talk to your preceptor and/or charge nurse as early in the shift as possible.

It'll get more comfortable soon, I promise. ;)


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

Good advice above, AND I would add to keep your own notes about just when and what you told your supervisors you needed more training with, and how much training on those items they subsequently provided you.

Facilities sufficiently short-sighted (most healthcare facilities in other words) to fail to provide appropriate training for employees can NOT be expected to stand up for those same employees if and when future mistakes are made.



796 Posts

I just wanted to wish you the best of luck. I would def ask your manager or orientation coordinator if it would be ok to get some help with at the least your organizational skills. Personally, it sounds more like you are having trouble with coming up with a system to do your job than anything else.....that can be real easy to fix!!!! I wish you tons of luck and def speak up!!!

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