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how to be an or preceptor

Operating Room   (2,418 Views 7 Comments)
by fusionfire32 fusionfire32 (Member)

fusionfire32 has 9 years experience and specializes in OR.

3,827 Visitors; 149 Posts

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hi,

just wondering. what sort of educational course one has to do to be a clinical assessor/preceptor/mentor in usa. i have been working in or for nearly 2 years over here in uk and over here we have to go through a mentoring course to be a mentor/preceptor. can anyone please give me some information because i am going to come to usa next year and work wise i need to know what will be the best route for me. should i do the course here or is there anything available over there??? just very confused. any guidance is greatly appreciated.

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

4 Followers; 4 Articles; 102,977 Visitors; 8,658 Posts

We have no requirements to be a preceptor other than that you can't be on orientation or in your solo trial period. Our new hires/orientees are not kept with the same preceptor every day, which is something I disagree with. Everyone is expected to be able to precept. There is also no incentive involved. Ideally, I'd like to see orientees kept with the same preceptor for each specialty, and the preceptor has to go through a course, which would come with some sort of differential.

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fusionfire32 has 9 years experience and specializes in OR.

3,827 Visitors; 149 Posts

thanks for your reply. ya i totally agree that a preceptee should have mentors for different speciality but i would like to add some more to this. there should be an overall preceptor to whom the preceptee can go to if they encounter some problems with different speciality preceptors (ideally) or at least that is what we have in my work place. we do have vigourous checks and assessments when we have student nurses or new grads/staff coming to or. in our area, student nurses learn to assist the anesthesist, work in pacu and also scrub so a lot to catchup with. but this gives them good idea of or nursing and students stay for 8 weeks on a stretch and work 37.5 hours as their clinical rotation. i have diverted myself from the subject here but it would be nice to know what you guys do. i am thinking of doing a proper assessor course which is a requirement if you want to climb up the ladder. hopefully i will get some more replies

thanks again.

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fusionfire32 has 9 years experience and specializes in OR.

3,827 Visitors; 149 Posts

the preceptor has to go through a course, which would come with some sort of differential.

what sort of course is available over there? is it distance learning?

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2 Followers; 103,132 Visitors; 14,620 Posts

In my experience, it depends entirely upon the individual employer. Some larger hospitals/facilities have specific requirements (level of education, clinical experience, etc.) and extensive training programs for people who want to be preceptors; some hospitals just assign people whether they want to do it or not. Some facilities pay extra for precepting new employees or new grads, some don't. And some facilities "split the difference" and have a system that falls somewhere in between those two extremes. There is no national, standardized model for precepting that I'm aware of.

I would think that a preceptor would, at least, need to be v. familiar with nursing practice and practice within her/his specific clinical specialty in the US, and within her/his specific facility, before being given responsibility for training others. I would think that, as a nurse new to the US, the "best route" would be to start with focusing on developing/acquiring experience in your new setting, and then go from there.

Best wishes!

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canesdukegirl has 14 years experience and specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management.

8 Articles; 36,871 Visitors; 2,543 Posts

Hey Fusion-

Good for you for hopping across the big puddle! I hope that you will find the people and the work environment here in the USA welcoming and educational. I wish there was some type of organization that would allow nurses to "swap out" so that you could come here and work in my position for a year in the US and I could go and work in your position in the UK. I think nurses would gain a vast amount of knowledge and appreciation from this idea. However, I digress...

Agreeing with a previous post, a preceptor program is available entirely dependent on the hospital you choose. At my hospital, if you express an interest in precepting, there is an annual program that requires one hour a week for (I think) 6 weeks every Wednesday morning of general teaching skills. It is entirely paid for by the hospital and upon completion of the class, you get a certificate. In some places I have worked, if you are the primary preceptor for a student, you do get paid more per hour, although I think it is only a dollar or two more. This certification is also taken into consideration when annual raises are awarded after your yearly review.

At some other institutions I have worked, the new students or new hires get "thrown in" with someone who is more times than not ill equipped to teach and the new nurse is left frustrated and without formal direction.

Was that clear as mud? Are you planning to go to a university hospital or a private one? In my experience, university hospitals offer more along the lines of educational and practice development for nurses.

Good luck to you and please don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions that I can help you with. If I don't know the answers to your questions, I can certainly find out for you or direct you to someone who can give you more clear answers. I am excited for you!

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fusionfire32 has 9 years experience and specializes in OR.

3,827 Visitors; 149 Posts

hi canesdukegirl,

thanks a bunch. i want to work where there are good educational oppurtunities. however, i am scared that environment in us theatres/operating room is probably very different to what i am acustomed to. over here we have speciality theatres and each have a morning/afternoon/all day sessions. so each day we have a list of ops that need to be done for eg. on monday Surgeon A can have 2 laminectomies and maybe one craniotomy for eg. and so on. how is it over there? give me some idea of your working day. i would certainly appreciate that.

thanks

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