Be A Preceptee with Patience

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There are a handful of new nurses out there (at least that I’m aware of) from my blogosphere. I thought I’d touch on a subject that will be in the forefront of most of your minds.

Your orientation with you preceptor(s).

Yep. I went through it. Yep, your preceptor went through it. All nurses have gone through it, in one form or another. Some of us had a longer bout than others. Some of us had more on our plate than others, but we all have that dreaded ‘orientation’ under our belts.

Your FIRST orientation is the worst. You have to pull double duty. You not only have to learn the layout of the land, how things work, and how things are done in your particular area of employment, you still have to learn the basics to being a new nurse. Yes nursing school taught you what they considered the basics, even may have given you a ‘taste’ of what the real stuff is like. But believe-you-me nursing school is NOT the same as the ‘real world’ of nursing (I hope that didn’t sound offensive).

Like most of us, you want to excel. You want to learn, be that proverbial sponge for information, experiences, and how-to’s. You want to exceed not only your preceptor’s, but your own expectations of how you should perform. And most of all, you want to shake off the ‘orientation’ label as soon as possible!

So when given the ‘go’ word, you want off of that dang-blasted orientation. You want that rush of being on your own. You want the respect of being the independent, self-motivated, critical thinker that you know you are!

STOP

Whatever you do, don’t rush.

Whatever you do, take your time.

WHATEVER your do, don’t let them coerce you into LESS time on orientation!

I’m here to encourage you to exercise some patience. We all know how it feels. We all wanted it as bad as you do. But we all learned the hard way that orientation is THE IDEAL place for learning the ropes, honing your basic skills, and progressing into that bad-ass nurse we all know you can be.

Rushing off of orientation only accomplishes one thing. It creates another staff position. Nothing more. Nothing less.

It does not benefit you, nor your nursing skills or experience. It in fact robs you of some much needed learning.

Remember, orientation is the time where you have that proactive direct learning environment. Where you learn all the tips and tricks to make your day a lil’ less hectic. Where you assimilate and consume more than you produce.

If anything, it’s the only place where you can almost feel ‘comfortable’ to make a mistake. (Yeah, I know there IS no such thing) When you make a mistake on orientation (you noticed I say WHEN and not IF), it is met with much less stress and anxiety because the mistakes are an expected portion of the process. And your preceptor will be by your side to help you through that extremely uncomfortable time.

As a new nurse, mistakes WILL be made.

As a new nurse, task performance will take 3 times longer than your veteran colleagues.

When you ‘water-skip’ through orientation, instead of it happening during orientation, it will happen when you’re the decision maker.

Take the time to learn now. You as well as your co-workers will benefit from it later.

Welcome to this wonderful world of nursing. I do hope you enjoy the ride as much as I have and still do!

Best of luck!

Carpe Diem

Image Source: PBase.com

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20 thoughts on “Be A Preceptee with Patience

  1. @ Matt It’s tough for both parties involved. Glad to hear your unit has their priorities straight!

  2. @ Matt It’s tough for both parties involved. Glad to hear your unit has their priorities straight!

  3. This is great advice. I ran across this tendency to rush people onto the floor when I was still in school. Now, however, I have to say I’m really fortunate to work in a unit where they’re really mindful of staff readiness. They sent ten of us through several months of schooling (including 200 hrs of clinicals) before letting us start on the unit solo and then still rejected two of the original ten after 5 months of training, telling them the ICU wasn’t the place for them. Refreshing to know that staffing levels take a back seat to patient safety.

  4. This is great advice. I ran across this tendency to rush people onto the floor when I was still in school. Now, however, I have to say I’m really fortunate to work in a unit where they’re really mindful of staff readiness. They sent ten of us through several months of schooling (including 200 hrs of clinicals) before letting us start on the unit solo and then still rejected two of the original ten after 5 months of training, telling them the ICU wasn’t the place for them. Refreshing to know that staffing levels take a back seat to patient safety.

  5. @ artillerywifecq CONGRATULATIONS on starting your orientation! Yes, being patient during this time is VERY difficult, but it is VERY worth the wait. Best of luck!

  6. @ artillerywifecq CONGRATULATIONS on starting your orientation! Yes, being patient during this time is VERY difficult, but it is VERY worth the wait. Best of luck!

  7. Thanks for the advice. I start orientation on monday. I have a slight leg up since I have worked in the ER for 6 months as a tech. Now I have to switch into nurse mode. I will take your words to heart. I am the kind of person who will rush through orientation, now I will take my time. My preceptor is great, so I a super excited to learn from her.

  8. Thanks for the advice. I start orientation on monday. I have a slight leg up since I have worked in the ER for 6 months as a tech. Now I have to switch into nurse mode. I will take your words to heart. I am the kind of person who will rush through orientation, now I will take my time. My preceptor is great, so I a super excited to learn from her.

  9. @ Karin RN Thank for sharing. It can be a difficult decision.

    @ Caroline Best of luck!

  10. @ Karin RN Thank for sharing. It can be a difficult decision.

    @ Caroline Best of luck!

  11. This is great advice. I feel so lucky that I don’t have to learn the ropes of a new hospital AND learn to be a nurse, since my first RN job is on the same unit I’ve been for 6 months. I will remember your advice to BE PATIENT as I make my way through this journey. 🙂

  12. This is great advice. I feel so lucky that I don’t have to learn the ropes of a new hospital AND learn to be a nurse, since my first RN job is on the same unit I’ve been for 6 months. I will remember your advice to BE PATIENT as I make my way through this journey. 🙂

  13. I can’t disagree. I actually had to address someone’s unreadiness to be on the floor yet on his own. I did not orient him but somehow his preceptors thought he was ready and released him to the floor doing day shift. This proves, preceptors can make mistakes too, and they can be partly to blame.

    After I voiced concern, the educators talked to him and he was moved to night shift. Hmm, and mistakes have been made still after that, but less.

    Karin RN’s last blog post..New Year Reading

  14. I can’t disagree. I actually had to address someone’s unreadiness to be on the floor yet on his own. I did not orient him but somehow his preceptors thought he was ready and released him to the floor doing day shift. This proves, preceptors can make mistakes too, and they can be partly to blame.

    After I voiced concern, the educators talked to him and he was moved to night shift. Hmm, and mistakes have been made still after that, but less.

    Karin RN’s last blog post..New Year Reading

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