Nurse preceptors must balance teaching, patient care

(HealthDay)—Caring for deteriorating patients while precepting novice nurses requires a balancing of teaching and patient care roles, according to a study published online June 19 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Carol Della Ratta, Ph.D., R.N., from Stony Brook University in New York, conducted one-on-one, semi-structured interviews of 11 nurse preceptors (August 2016 to September 2017) to assess experiences of caring for deteriorating patients while providing guidance and supervision to a new graduate nurse.

The researchers found that nurse development was fostered by supporting the novice to care. Remembering their own novice experience impacted the preceptors’ role. The preceptor’s clinical expertise informed understanding of knowing when it was necessary for them to assume care of the patient. Debriefing is an essential preceptor tool that emerged as a critical aspect of reviewing technical aspects of care, venting emotions, and providing evaluative feedback and reassurance to the novice.

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