The Value of a Preceptor

My preceptor, Elizabeth Parker, is nothing short of an amazing nurse. For starters, Elizabeth is the type of nurse I aspire to be someday. She is the kind of nurse a patient can laugh with, yet trust wholeheartedly because she is very knowledgeable on what seems to be every topic. On the rare occasion in which Elizabeth does not know something concerning her patients’ care plans, I have witnessed her researching until she understands every single detail about said topics. She is constantly striving to become a better nurse. In addition to her expert clinical knowledge, Elizabeth conveys a unique type of presence when dealing with patients – one that is not easily imitated. She has a warm, friendly, and bubbly personality that makes her patients feel like the most important people in the world. To this end, one particular instance comes to mind.

A young female patient had been in the hospital for weeks – she was very sick and a long way from her family in Kentucky. One day, as she was crying because she missed her mother, Elizabeth took the time to sit with her. She offered to comb and braid her hair. This simple act of kindness meant the world to this patient – for the first time in a long time, she didn’t feel alone. To me, it’s these sorts of moments that demonstrate what it means to be not just a good nurse, but a great nurse. It is hard to imagine what my internship experience would have been like without having Elizabeth’s guidance. I am truly grateful to have learned from her this summer.

Angela Weir, 2015 Student Nurse Internship Program