The Bloom of a Royal Jasmine: Lived Experiences of Nurse Preceptors in the Intensive Care Unit
Keywords:Lived experiences, Nurse Preceptors, Intensive Care Unit
Nurse preceptors have long been recognized for their pivotal role in acclimating new employees to change, facilitating learning, and helping them embrace contemporary roles. The preceptorship process is essential for easing the challenging adjustment that newly hired nurses often face. The transformation from novice to skilled nurse necessitates guidance from qualified preceptors. Effective clinical preceptors in the intensive care unit (ICU) must receive ongoing support to be both supportive and constructive to the preceptees. This article delves into the profound responsibilities, rewards, and challenges nurse preceptors face. It explores their remarkable experiences, underscoring their value in enhancing departmental or unit needs.
This study delved into the lived experiences of nurse preceptors in the ICU, guided by the central question: "What are your experiences as a clinical preceptor in the intensive care unit?" The research utilized the Husserlian qualitative method to gain a deeper understanding of nurse preceptors' lived experiences and explore opportunities to leverage their skills for departmental needs. The study involved ten nurse preceptors selected through purposive sampling. The Union Christian College Ethics Review Board and the King Abdulaziz International Medical Research Center granted ethical approval. Data collection occurred between May and June 2022, using unstructured online Zoom interviews. The participants' responses were analyzed using cool and warm analysis techniques, while Moustakas' steps were utilized for understanding and interpreting the meanings embedded in their experiences.
From the cool and warm analyses of participants' verbalizations, four themes emerged:
- Navigating the Tempest (Challenges and Struggles): This theme parallels a tempestuous storm or a battle, symbolizing the challenges and struggles nurse preceptors encounter while training and precepting new critical care nurses. The theme delves into the interactions and experiences of clinical preceptors in a tertiary hospital, shedding light on their struggles while precepting critical care nurses.
- The Wooden Fence (Coping Mechanisms): Depicting coping mechanisms, approaches, and techniques, this theme likens nurse preceptors to a sturdy wooden fence, embodying their aspirations. The metaphor signifies the nurse preceptors' ability to fulfill their tasks and uphold their beliefs. The theme explores how nurse preceptors seamlessly transition through the preceptorship program by relying on support systems, self-awareness, and strategic coping approaches.
- Sowing Seeds of Inspiration: With the nursing profession's increasing diversity in career pathways, this theme highlights the importance of mentorship. Just as every nurse once needed guidance, these nurse preceptors guide fresh graduates as they transition into adept team members capable of providing safe and efficient patient care.
- Beauty in Bloom (Learning and Realization): Comparable to the growth and blossoming of Jasmine flowers, this theme underscores the growth of nurse preceptors and preceptees into highly skilled and competent nurses. The metaphor signifies not only advancement but also individual pacing in learning. Nurse preceptors, like flowers, learn and improve in their profession, finding self-esteem through precepting experiences.
Implications and Recommendations
The study's outcomes offer a rich understanding of "The Bloom of a Royal Jasmine: The Lived Experience of a Nurse Preceptor." It provides valuable insights into managing preceptorship training for ICU nurses, which is crucial for delivering quality healthcare. The research emphasizes adequate preparation and continuous support for nurse preceptors. Effective preceptorship relies on collaborative teamwork and transparent communication across the care team.
Based on the study's findings and conclusions, several recommendations are proposed:
- Develop an action plan to address the study's results, focusing on enhancing the training and competencies of new nurse preceptors.
- Consider expanding the preceptorship program to encompass a broader range of staff nurses, fostering effective nurse preceptors across various clinical practice areas.
- Utilize the study's findings as a blueprint for policy recommendations to elevate the growth and development of nurse preceptors, especially those within the ICU setting.
In summary, this study contributes significantly to understanding nurse preceptors' roles and experiences in the ICU. Nurse preceptors become instrumental in developing skilled and compassionate healthcare professionals by addressing the challenges, showcasing coping mechanisms, inspiring others, and fostering growth.