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How to Be a Good Preceptor

How to Be a Good Preceptor

Marijke Durning | NursingLink

Constant Evaluation

Don’t wait until the end of your time together before giving your preceptee feedback. He needs to know how he is doing throughout the process. They don’t have to be official “sit down and discuss progress” conversations; an ongoing conversation between the two of you works just as well.

Observe when he is doing well and what he isn’t. Comment on improvements and progress. Few things slow down learning than always being criticized or having new information thrown at you, but receiving little positive feedback in return.

Don’t Let Things Slide

Some nurse preceptors don’t want to be the “bad guy” and will let some things slide when they shouldn’t. Bad habits have to be nipped in the bud before they become ingrained.

Some preceptees might be called borderline in how well they seem to be doing their job; they’re not bad at their assessments and tasks, but they aren’t very good at it either. This is when you need to draw on the experience of your own managers. And sometimes, it comes down to asking yourself this one question: “Would I want the preceptee caring for someone I care about?”

Walk the Walk

If you tell your preceptee one thing but do another, he will likely remember what you’ve done rather than what you’ve said. You have to remember that you are a role model, particularly when teaching your preceptee things he has not yet seen or experienced in nursing.

As a preceptor, you have the satisfaction and joy of helping a new nurse grow into a competent member of the nursing team. And who knows? They may take what you taught them and be a great preceptor to someone else down the road!

Take pride in your duties as a preceptor. You are molding fresh minds for great things. Good luck!

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