During clinical year you will have several different types of preceptors. Some incredible other just average, and some who expected you to just absorb information and don’t teach or ask a single question, and others who “pimp” you on rounds by asking question after question until you get something wrong, others that pushes, challenges and motivates you.
Everyone has different teaching styles, and it’s stressful being on point to answer questions at any moment. Just understand that you will survive and it’s NORMAL not to know every question. This is hard to accept, of course you don’t want to look dumb and not know the answer. But just remember, most of your preceptors have had years experience. So don’t feel bad if you don’t know the answer.⠀⠀
If you don’t know, never say, “I don’t know.” You say, “ I’m not sure, let me look it up and get back to you.” ⠀It’s important to respect them. If you’re in a room shadowing an encounter, do not interject Do not ask questions during the encounter, some providers do not like being put on the spot, save your questions until you are out of the patient room. Stay attentive, and engaged, and absorb everything you can after all you you may not be interested in that specific field but you things you never thought you would! And remember you will survive, its just a short part of your journey. Don’t forget to thank your preceptor with a small note or gift for the time spend and the knowledge the imparted.
Behind every good nurse is a great preceptor.
Let’s be real, not every preceptor is going to teach you how to be a great at your craft. You may get one who is jaded, aggressive, unsafe or downright hates their job and may take it out on the excited and open minded new graduate. However, when you meet a great preceptor, you realize why certain individuals go into this field. They are intelligent, patient, empathetic and they love their job. They go the extra mile and they care about contributing to the field by helping produce great professionals.
These people share their knowledge and love for the profession in many different ways. Some of us are lucky enough to have great preceptors in school and during your orientation as a new graduate. Some teach you how to connect the basic you learn in school with real world, they teach you how to be safe, efficient and thorough in everything you do.Some even supports you during a rough time in your life’s journey and offers you guidance through it all. This post is to show appreciation for all the preceptors and mentors out there. Our field is hard but it becomes easier when you have support from your colleagues. Thank you for all that you do.