I was very blessed to have been assigned my final preceptorship at Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) on the Medicine/Nephrology unit. This is the same place I had on 4th term practicum, making it a smooth transition from student to preceptor student.
On my first day I met my preceptor and she was a very sweet lady, so I was super-excited to be back on the Nephrology unit and was very comfortable with how the unit works. This final practicum is nerve-racking for PN students, because it’s the last chance to be in a hospital or care facility before we graduate. We have to learn everything we have not already learned and ask as many questions as we can.
During my preceptorship I took my preceptor’s patient load so that I could improve my organizational and time management skills, as this is something that can always be worked on. I got to assist RNs in procedures, change wounds, watch code blues and grow my confidence in a hospital setting. By the end of the preceptorship I felt as though I was already a part of the SMH team.
Some other students had the chance to complete their preceptorship in rehab clinics, care homes and different parts of certain hospitals. Being in the hospital I have learned and seen so much, so for me it was truly the best experience ever. Preceptorship is like any part of the nursing program though; it is definitely what you make of it. If you’re not happy with your placements you still need to try and make the most out of them, especially because these are all potential employers. Remember that even when you think people aren’t watching you, they are. They watch how you interact with staff, families and clients themselves. They watch your maturity, your appearance and the way you carry yourself. They observe your skills, your knowledge and your ability to handle pressure and stress.
This past year and a half has absolutely flown by. One minute I was in first term in a care home learning how to provide personal care and the next I am a runner during a code blue grabbing supplies for the team. I am so thankful for the experiences that I had during the PN program, and for my amazing teachers, who helped me get through the program.
Nursing is a profession where you are always learning. I will never put my books away as I will always have questions that I want to find answers to. During the program I had meltdowns, breakdowns and times where I wanted to quit. If you’re ever feeling this way, just remember why you are pursuing nursing, why you chose to come into the nursing profession and remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It may not look like it’s there, but trust me, it is!