As any seasoned nurse will tell you there is a huge difference between reading about patient care and actually being responsible for it. There are also changes in protocol and methods when you move from one specialty to another. Preceptors are there to help nurses in new positions transition smoothly. The role they play in healthcare is critical and not nearly as easy as you may think it is.
If you have reached a point in your nursing profession where being a preceptor is the next natural step, make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into:
The Bad News About Being a Preceptor
- New nurses will require a lot of your time during a shift
- You will run out of patience from time to time
- Preceptors sometimes feel like they are not properly trained to take on a teaching role
- Not all new nurses are going to “get it” (whatever “it” may be) at the same rate
- Although having a new nurse at your side should mean less work for you, the opposite is typically true
- You are now responsible for the actions of another nurse
Being a receptor in nursing is not for everyone. You need to understand the role thoroughly and have an honest desire to shell out knowledge and skills to new nurses so that they can become great ones.
How to Survive Being a Preceptor
There are strategies and techniques that a nurse preceptor can use to help in making the role a more positive one. Here are six viable solutions to the above listed challenges that some nurse preceptors face: