Taking Charge of Your Career – Embracing Opportunities to Challenge Yourself
The roles we find ourselves fulfilling in our career may not actually be the ones we set out for. Sometimes, these roles are thrust upon us, or a need is presented to us. But we often find there is an internal drive to push ourselves to the next level that opens the door to new roles and challenges.
Becoming a preceptor was something I never asked to do, but it was brought to my attention as a need for our floor. My initial instinct was, “Isn’t there someone better suited for this? Someone who has been a nurse longer, perhaps?” But then my brain started chewing on the idea of teaching the in’s and out’s of nursing from my perspective. This is an amazing learning opportunity for me. It brings to light how much you actually do know as a nurse, brings confidence to your clinical judgment, and it challenges you on a daily basis.
The challenges I am confronted with in this preceptor role include:
- Time management coaching;
- Teaching about appropriate social interactions with your preceptee and patients;
- Showing a new nurse how to educate your patients in layman's terms about what is happening during the patient’s hospital stay.
I’ve heard it said before by many a wise sage, you don’t know a subject until you have to teach about it. Truer words were never said. In my role as preceptor, I would find myself explaining processes or policies that seemed second nature, but in teaching them to others, I was confronted with the “why,” which solidified my rationale.
Because of this new role, I have learned many things about my own nursing practice and the importance of pushing myself to learn more, work harder, and be the best version of myself. Not only are you accountable for your patients and the care they are receiving, but now you are responsible to train up the next set of brand new nurses walking through the hospital door. That can be a scary thought! But it is one that I enjoy thoroughly.
When you take on a challenge you didn’t think you were suited for, you recognize you’ve been given an opportunity to become a teacher, which means you are also a student again. This once unnerving idea of becoming a preceptor has shaped my nursing career and given me the confidence to take on the next challenge with courage and boldness.