The purpose of my paper is to reflect upon the student-preceptor relationship and how it shapes the views and interests of the novice nurse within the nursing profession. Thinking back, clinical opportunities that were meaningful to me have been when I built a positive and professional relationship with my preceptors. These well developed relationships have directly correlated with how well my overall clinical experience has gone and they’ve shaped the type of nurse that I would like to become. The reason that I’ve chosen to speak on this topic is the result of a particular nurse on the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit (4B) during my placement at the Toronto General Hospital (TGH). As I entered TGH on Sunday May 26th, I was aware that my designated preceptor would not be facilitating my learning on this particular shift. This was the result of her assignment as the charge nurse on the unit. As the charge nurse, her presence was continuously required at the nursing station as she could not be at the bedside. My preceptor had then indicated to me that I would be working with a more senior nurse on the unit. When I met this nurse: she greeted me with a smile, introduced her name and credentials, and told me a little bit about her professional background. The first topic of discussion that I had with her was her familiarity with the Scholar Practitioner Program (S.P.P); she mentioned briefly hearing about it. As a result of this I gave her a debriefing of the S.P.P, told her how the students learnt, mentioned my learning objectives, and gave her a little description of my own educational background. What struck me by surprise was how she received this new program. Unlike some of the preceptors that I’ve heard about from my co-learners, she was positive and willing to work with me to build a nursing foundation. This made me feel even more willing to be on the unit and to embrace my learning. Furthermore, she had given me a re-introduction to the unit and mentioned the various kinds of clients that came to the unit for medical services. Before we started dealing with patients, I grasped her philosophy as she disclosed what she valued in providing nursing care. Furthermore, she asked me what I valued when receiving/giving care; I was happy to tell her. The fact that she was able to validate my input, gave me the confidence to know that I was on the right track. Moreover, she asked me to reiterate my learning goals before we started to work with the clients. As I did this, it helped her to keep them in mind. As a result, she was able to reveal key information to me that was directly applicable to my learning objectives. I saw that she had a passion not only to work as a nurse but to teach as well; this was more than visible in her behavior. The way in which she engaged in her work and went about teaching me, genuinely made me more interested in the concepts of the cardiovascular system and surgery. As I reflected on this event, I could see how influential this nurse was on me and how it shaped my views and interests particularly during this shift. This experience with the senior nurse helped me to envision the type of characteristics that I would like to emulate when working. Some of characteristics include being compassionate, passionate, genuine, empathetic, attentive, having a positive attitude, and asking for people’s input when appropriate. These were some of the qualities that stood out to me. Upon observing this nurse in the clinical field, I feel like I have seen a glimpse of how I envision myself to be in the future while nursing. I believe that preceptors have the power to shape a student’s beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors just by being a good role model. Many of us came into nursing having our own fixed ideas about it yet with the exposure and time that we get in our clinical, our perceptions of nursing began to change. They either changed for the better or worse...
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Yonge, O. (2007). Preceptorship rural boundaries-student perspective. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care, 7(1), 5-12.
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