Do you remember your first day on the job and how it felt to be a new employee? Finding a caring face and a guiding hand to lead the way made all the difference in determining if your day would be a positive or negative experience. At Eastern Health, one way we ensure that nursing staff and personal care attendants at our long-term care facilities are well trained and comfortable is through the use of preceptors. Preceptors are experienced employees who are assigned to a new employee or student to support them as they settle in and adjust to their new roles.
Eastern Health’s Long-Term Care Program is pleased to have committed preceptors, with nurturing qualities. These employees play an essential role in the delivery of long-term care, as they help novice employees and students feel comfortable and confident, so that they can provide the best possible care to residents.
So who are some of these hardworking preceptors?
Wanda Duke and Corena Boland are experienced Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) from St. Patrick’s Mercy Home. These two women have preceptored many new employees and students over the years. They both believe the preceptor must be patient, kind, caring, open to change and take pride in their profession – essentially very understanding individuals. Corena exemplifies her understanding side with comments like, “we were all new at one time.”
Over at the Hoyles Escasoni Complex, Lori Bailey, LPN, and Tony Green, personal care attendant (PCA), have taken on preceptor roles.
“We all benefit when we are familiar with each other and the workplace culture,” explains Lori. “I help new students and new employees by reviewing best practices and institutional polices with them. We continue to learn from each other. Students are fresh and have new ideas—they keep me on my toes and up to date!”
These four employees, as well as many other preceptors working across the organization, willingly share the responsibility of welcoming a new employee to the workplace. The sense of personal accomplishment and job satisfaction in helping another employee grow and develop to the best of their ability is very rewarding for Wanda, Corena, Lori and Tony.
Those of us who work in Eastern Health’s Long-Term Care Program are very thankful to all of our preceptors for their guidance, patience and understanding. Their enthusiasm and commitment to ensure that they support their colleagues ensures that residents receive the best care possible.■
This story was written by Valery Goulding, RN, BN, a nurse who has worked with long-term care since July 2000. She has held various positions including staff nurse, resident care manager, RAI-MDS 2.0 coordinator and clinical educator.