Hi! I've been scrolling through this blog and I want to thank you for making it. It is very inspiring. I just found out that I'll be having my preceptorship in the NICU this semester and am really excited but can't help but feel nervous. Many of the quotes you've posted here have helped with that nervousness, so again thank you. I was wondering if you have any advice for how to prepare for my preceptorship? I really love this field and would like to do the best I possibly can. Thanks in advance!
Thank you so much for the kind words. That was a great way to start my day.
First, it’s completely normal to feel nervous. You’re going to be in a new environment with new people and that presents it’s own challenges in addition to wanting to sound like a competent nursing student.
Here are some links to some previous posts I’ve made that have some resources for you.
1. This link (click here) has some advice I gave to another student about to start a preceptorship in the NICU. It also includes some some info-graphics, YouTube videos and other helpful information that would be good for your experience.
2. In this link (click here) I talk to an anon about concerns about a preceptorship not living up to expectations.
3. And in this link (click here) I talk with a nurse who just started out in the NICU and is having a rough go at it. I think it might be helpful in the sense to remember that we as nurses are far from perfect. And no matter how much experience or knowledge we obtain, we’re all subject to errors and the unknown (that typed out scarier than I meant it to…)
Remember too, that this experience is for you. Take ownership of it. Learn as much as you can, but enjoy it as well. This is a time in your nursing career that will not repeat itself so try to make it a good memory.
Trying to convince nurse residents to choose our unit…
"But in a good way! I swear! Hey… why are you running away? Come baaaaccccckkkkkk!"
I enjoy this, especially with the “nurses eat their young” theory that has been emerging more and more in my life recently.
If you treat new hires like crap, they will leave and you will continue to be short staffed.
Wow. This sums up what I’ve been trying to say perfectly.
Nursing is nursing, whether you’re a med/surg nurse, a critical care nurse, ER, telemetry, pediatric, psychiatric, L & D, clinic, ambulatory, home-care or any other of the many disciplines. We’ve all gone through the same pre-requisites and the same core subjects in nursing school, the same despair that is the nursing school experience, and we’ve all passed the same stressful licensing examination (NCLEX). It doesn’t matter if you graduated from a community college or elitist school, or whether it’s an Associates, Bachelor or Masters degree - what matters is that you don’t look down or disrespect your coworkers who have struggled the same as you, achieved the same as you, and maybe even fought battles you probably didn’t know existed. Respect nursing by respecting one another.
Nurse X (via idledancer)
that is so sweet of you to think of me! I didn't think you'd remember me. gah I bet you are a fantastic nurse and all your families love you. Yes, I do have a preceptor whose schedule I follow but I get my own assignment now. She's very sweet but since it's so hectic she has her own stuff to do and I'm over here taking up her time and I feel bad :( I hope you don't mind, but I'll probably be sending you sporadic anon messages, or maybe even be brave enough to come off anon at some point :)
Well it was sweet of you to reach out and trust me to ask questions to! I don’t know about “fantastic” lol… start throwing around labels like that and my next shift will inevitably have me inserting my foot in my mouth in front of a family who will certainly not love me after that! =)
It’s all a work in progress. I’ve made a fool of myself plenty of times in front of my preceptors, fellow nurses (boy could they tell you some stories!), and families. It’s all a process. And for you and I, who are at the beginning of our careers it’s still all up hill for us. Each shift is going to present its own set of challenges. And, this is an important one, EVERY SINGLE SHIFT I HAVE A QUESTION FOR SOMEONE WHO IS MORE EXPERIENCED THAN I! We all do. Sometimes it’s just to hear, “Yes, that’s right”. Or it’s a new policy. Or just something you’ve never seen/heard before. We’re always learning.
I know it’s hard to interrupt your preceptor or another nurse with a question but eventually you won’t have that question again and before you know it there will be another nurse, even newer than you, asking the same question when you’re busy with your own patients. And the answer will come right to you and you’ll get to make a new nurse feel a little bit better about his/her work.
Just remember to be kind to yourself! And ALWAYS feel free to send questions/vents/concerns my way! I’ll do what I can.
Oh, and as a side note to you and everyone else who submits questions. If you submit it as “anonymous” the only choice I have is to publish your answer on the blog. If, however, you submit it from your Tumblr account I have the option, at your request, to answer just you. It’s a good option for people wanting an answer to something more specific, or if there needs to be a continuing dialogue.
I just wanted to say - thank you for posting that video. I don't know how you did it, but it was perfect timing. I just wrapped up 3 nights in a row for this week and it has been ridiculously busy and crazy and there were many times I found myself questioning why I even chose to go into this field in the first place. That video reminded me why I did. (not sure if you remember me, but I'm in that nurse residency program! s'been kinda rough, but. just keep swimming, right?)
The universe is such a funny place! I just logged back onto Tumblr because I was going to do a shout-out for you, anon! I was wondering how things were going for you… I’m so glad that you enjoyed the video! It absolutely brings me the utmost thrill to think that I can help or encourage any of my fellow nurses out there.
I’m glad that you’re sticking with it, too. I remember so vividly what it was like to be a nurse resident and navigating being a new nurse. I do hope you’re finding your rhythm and your place within the unit. If it makes you feel any better I just finished up a crazy 3-in-a-row round myself where there were several times that I just felt like I was a pee-wee football player in the NFL. (we like football in my house so sorry for the analogy!) I was literally dragging my feet walking out of the hospital I was so exhausted. But at the end of the day, (or maybe the next day when my brain had finally rebooted) I know I made a difference in my patients’ lives and that of their families. And you do too! Don’t ever forget that!
I meant to ask if you had found anyone that you’ve been able to talk to yet within your unit that is helping you adjust to nursing. I hope so!