On my way!
I had my first official day of precepting this week! Typically we don’t start until our last quarter, but I asked if there was a way to get in more hours of practice. As they say “ask (early enough and get all the dirty work done) and you shall receive.” I was fortunate enough to be able to take on an extra preceptorship on my own time on a peds unit at a nearby hospital.
Most of the day was an orientation to the unit, getting familiar with the nurses and the way they function as a team. My preceptor and I had patients, but I mostly shadowed his work, helping as needed. And while I thought I would have wanted to jump right in, I actually enjoyed just being able to follow along and see how he works and take it all in. I was really surprised as to how comfortable I started to feel in terms of my skills, even though I wasn’t actually practicing anything. I think working in a hospital as a CNA has really boosted my confidence. And on top of that – there’s no instructor following your footsteps making you even more nervous about making a mistake.
It got me thinking about a nursing school that would be all precepting. No direct instructor. If there were actually nurses out there willing to take on new nursing students (ok, maybe this is sounding a bit far fetched now…), but to have that consistent experience of what it’s like to be a nurse working a full shift from the beginning, might change the way we practice as new grads for the better. Of course there are a billion liability issues I am sure… but I think it might help to really get to experience it all like first hand, rather than in the typical ten student to one instructor method we’ve got going right now.
I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.
By Ani Burr, RN