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What's the best way to build a good relationship with your preceptor?

MICU   (4,379 Views 4 Comments)
by SICUsForMe SICUsForMe (New Member) New Member

687 Profile Views; 4 Posts

hello all... i am about to graduate and have accepted a gn postition in the sicu. i have worked there part time as an extern for the last six months and that time has been invaluable for building my comfort level with the acuity of the patients, personalities of the surgeons, and the various needs of pt's families.

what i'm most concerned with is ensuring a good relationship with my preceptor. (i've heard endless horror stories of poor matches and the like.) i want to be able to show him/her what i know (despite how minimal my knowledge base is) without seeming like a know-it-all; i'd like to be able to ask them questions without appearing to not respect their experience; and ultimately i'd like to build the sort of relationship that i will be able to rely on throughout my career.

those of you who are preceptors - what things can your preceptee do to impress you; to show you they're eager to learn and have come prepared? for those of you who've recently been a preceptee - what things did you do/learn to do that made your relationship with your preceptor a more positive one?

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castens specializes in Clinical Educator - Critical Care.

19 Posts; 1,547 Profile Views

The best way? Flowers and a brown nose.

Seriously, though, I think the best way is to think out loud. Hands down. If you think out loud (even the obvious) they will automatically know what you know and what you don't know.


"His lungs sound a bit crackly, his CVP is now 18 - up from 12 - and his urine output has slowed to 25 mL/hr. It sounds to me like I should give the PRN 40 mg of Lasix, which I would give IV push over 4 minutes. What do you think?"

Eventually, your preceptor will know how you think and what you know, and the thinking out loud will be able to decrease. This also allows the preceptor an easy way to say something along the lines of, "I can see why you would think that, but..."

Thinking out loud is something I still do to this day, though in a different way. You should never get out of the habit of running stuff by your coworkers if you just need to reinforce your brain. It may be something that would be obvious to you on Monday, but when it's Friday and you're doing a double, two brains are better than one.

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Creamsoda is a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU.

717 Posts; 12,032 Profile Views

The thinking out loud is good when your a student, but when you are on your own, you may want to not do that, or keep it to a minimum. Ive worked with a few nurses who CONSTANTLY think out loud and is it ever annoying. The only impression I get from them is that they dont feel confidant in what they are doing, so rather than ask someone, they think out loud in the hopes someone will answer them, rather then just asking my opinion.

Dont get me wrong, I ask questions all the time, but I ask the questions after I know I cant find the answer myself such as looking things up ect, then if I cant figure it out, I will ask a question. The particular nurses I have worked with just continue to ramble on hoping im going to put my 2 cents in. It can make it seem you dont know what you are doing, and other nurses can sense it, and the docs pick it up too because they do this all the time. The nurses just talk, talk, talk all day, literally giving a play by play of their day. These nurses arent even new, they have been nurses for 15+ years and it is just part of their personality that they do this, but is it ever annoying.

Sorry for the rant, but just a warning. Of course being a new grad they expect you to ask lots of question, and I still do ask myself, but my point is try to find the answer yourself if you have time to look it up. If you dont and its an emergency by all means ask, ask, ask.

Good luck with your rotation, and despite it being stressfull, try to have fun while your there. Its a great learning experience.

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