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5 Tips for Precepting At Your Peak

5 Tips for Precepting At Your Peak

Hello nursing community!

I've been thinking about what makes a great preceptor stand out above the rest. In this week's post, I collected some helpful tips on how to precept at your peak!

 1. Listen. When you first meet the new nurse, listen more than you speak. Ask about their nursing experience up to this point, and ask them to identify few strengths and weaknesses. This will be helpful when setting goals for them along the way.

2. Create a safe place for feedback. Ask the new nurse how they would like to discuss an incident or error. Do they prefer that you correct them in front of the patient? Or asked to speak outside of the room? This is an important detail that is often overlooked. It can make or break your preceptee's trust in you. If you don't address this in the beginning of the teaching relationship, it can lead to a lot of resentment and frustration on both sides.

3. Breakfast is mandatory and lunch is not an option. I usually ask the new nurse if he/she has eaten breakfast, and if they say no, I make them go eat breakfast while I take report for them. Do this once and they will never miss breakfast again out of fear of getting behind. Set this boundary early on because it's a bad habit if nurses think they can function optimally with an empty stomach. My rule- You can't touch a patient until you've taken care of yourself first. 

4. Create a culture of inquiry. Encourage questions, even if they are annoying or repetitive. Let your preceptee see that you don't know the answer to something and that you need to ask someone what to do, or look it up. This will teach them to avoid short cuts, as well as gain acceptance for the fact that nurses don't know everything, and they never will.

5. Always, always, always debrief after ever shift. Even if it's for five minutes. Nurses in training need immediate feedback. Start with what went well during the shift, and don't let the preceptee start talking about the negative until they've addressed the positive. 

Comment below with some helpful tips of your own!

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