Nursing student and preceptor relationships are a two-way street. You both reflect upon each other. These relationships mold the type of nurse you will become in the future. Good or bad preceptor, it comes down to you and your mindset. Here’s how to be the best nurse you can be regardless of the circumstances:
Listen to your preceptors advice. Don’t take it personally. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told to I was wrong doing something because I wasn’t doing it “their way.” There will come a time that you will be able to develop your own way of doing things but at the beginning, you have to do it your preceptor’s way. You are working under their license. But as a licensed nursing resident, it is your license. Take their advice and begin to develop the techniques that work best for you.
Question things that don’t make sense to you. Question why things are done a certain way. The best driving force for change is to begin questioning and asking why. To be the best you can be, don’t accept things for the way they are. Healthcare is dynamic. Nursing is dynamic. Things constantly change in healthcare. Be a part of this change. Hold yourself to this standard.
UTILIZE CLEAR COMMUNICATION
The best way to establish trust between you and your preceptor is to talk things through. What type of feedback do you like? What are your goals this shift? More so, prove your knowledge. Verbally walk through the steps of what you’ll be doing in the patient’s room prior to entering. Ask if you forgot any steps. Ask for feedback on your performance. Also, ask your preceptor appropriate personal questions. Get to know them as a nurse and a person. This shows you truly care.
Don’t ever do something that you don’t know how to. Be honest. The patient’s safety is the most important thing. Lying about knowing how to do something only puts your patient at risk. Also, be honest about if you could have done something better. Did you miss a step? Could you have done anything safer? Being too confident as a nursing student or new grad nurse is one of the biggest red flags. It’s normal to feel scared. Use this fear as a driving force to hold yourself accountable for delivering the safest patient care.
BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE THAT DAY
You will not be a fully competent nurse in nursing school…or even a couple years after nursing school. These things take time. Because of this, be the best you can be THAT day. Learning points will continue to be thrown at you. Use what you know that day to deliver the best, safe care you can. Everyday that you deliver safe patient care is a good day! Apply this mindset and don’t be too hard on yourself.
HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH
The road to becoming a skilled nurse has more bumps than smooth patches. Embrace these bumps! Whatever trudges up a hill eventually has a joyous ride down! Be happy with the little wins each shift. You’ll eventually get to where you need to so enjoy the journey and stay positive!